Concrete loss

Paul Noronha | Updated on February 01, 2019

Taking stock of Mumbai’s mangroves on World Wetlands Day

Mumbai’s utter disregard for its mangroves is evident from the deplorable condition they are in, despite several attempts to revive them. They are diminishing by the day, with an over 70 per cent year-on-year loss recorded in 2018, the highest in three years. Mangrove trees are crucial to the wetland ecosystem, and their disappearance has resulted in a loss of habitat for migratory birds such as flamingos. The birds are also affected by the water pollution in the region, since the mangroves serve as their feeding areas. Sharing this tragic fate are the greater spotted eagle, sandpiper, heron, the black-bellied tern and egrets. Several mudflats which support mangroves face destruction today on account of projects like the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), which entails construction of a 22 km bridge from Sewri to Nhava Sheva, cutting across mangroves. The government has proposed measures such as the creation of a flamingo watching bay, to encourate community participation. However, it remains to be seen how many of these are implemented. With development in the driver’s seat, nature has taken a backseat this World Wetlands Day.

Paul Noronha

Published on February 01, 2019

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