Man­groves around Thane creek de­plet­ing: Re­port

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - Shashikant Kothekar shashikant.kothekar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

THANE: Even as the state gov­ern­ment has plans to de­clare a part of the Thane creek as a flamingo sanc­tu­ary, the 26-km-long wa­ter­front has lost its man­groves, dam­ag­ing the flora and fauna.

An en­vi­ron­ment re­port by the Thane Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion shows that the creek’s ecosys­tem has been dam­aged be­cause of pol­lu­tion. The re­port states that the de­bris and garbage thrown into the creek have dam­aged the man­groves. Crab and fish breed­ing spots around man­groves too have dis­ap­peared.

“Ev­ery year, we come out with an en­vi­ron­ment re­port. Our re­port is ready and will be for­warded to the gen­eral body meet­ing on Satur­day,” said Man­isha Prad­han, head of TMC pol­lu­tion con­trol board.

The TMC has de­cided to devel- op the wa­ter­front of Thane creek. The project in­cludes con­ser­va­tion, pro­tec­tion and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of the creek.

The creek, which used to be a lush with swathes of man­groves, has lost much of its green cover. The TMC re­port said the creek’s marine life is at threat as the dis­solved oxy­gen in the wa­ter has re­duced be­cause of sewage and ef­flu­ents dumped into the wa­ter.

There should be at least 4mg a litre dis­solved oxy­gen in the wa­ter body for aquatic life to sur­vive. Recla­ma­tion, solid waste dump­ing, sewage, in­creas­ing con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity along the creek and ef­flu­ents be­ing dumped are some of the rea­sons for the van­ish­ing man­groves, said the TMC re­port..

The TMC pol­lu­tion con­trol board re­port said there was a need to act se­ri­ously against the creek’s pol­lu­tion. “The TMC is plan­ning to de­velop shal­low wa­ter parks, wa­ter sports, man­grove

trails, jet­ties and by­passes along the coast. This will not only help pre­serve man­groves but also curb en­croach­ments along the creek,” said a TMC of­fi­cial.

Nagesh Tekale, ex­pert in en­vi­ron­ment stud­ies and bio­di­ver­sity, said Thane creek is dy­ing. “Pol­lu­tion and de­struc­tion of man­groves are the ma­jor rea­sons for it and the creek’s bio-di­ver­sity has been dam­aged. The creek’s area is also re­duc­ing. There is a need to plant more man­groves,” Tekale said.

HT FILE

Man­groves act as a buf­fer zone be­tween land and sea. The green cover pro­tects land from ero­sion.

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