Mangroves around Thane creek depleting: Report
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.
Mangroves act as a buffer zone between land and sea. The green cover protects land from erosion.