Navi Mumbai: ‘Nature strikes back’ as JNPT bypass road over mangroves develops huge cracks | Navi Mumbai News – Times of India


NAVI MUMBAI: The outstretched JNPT bypass road in Uran developed huge cracks since Tuesday night, leading to a traffic disruption for over 12 hours.
Environmentalists have pointed that this road expansion work had occurred after destroying scores of mangroves, over which the bypass road was built; hence the cracks seen now is due to “nature striking back”.
“We have written to the authorities that the cracks seen at the NH-348 bypass road near Pagote village, about 8 km away from JNPT, is a result of the haphazard destruction of mangroves and marshland to build the road. In an utter disregard to mangroves, the contractors dumped truckloads of earth and debris on the mangroves along the highway and levelled them for the road expansion and land required for flyovers. Nature is taking revenge now,” said the director of NatConnect Foundation, B N Kumar.
In letter to union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, environmental groups NatConnect Foundation and Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan have complained against the irresponsible and arrogant manner in which the contractors have been working on the expansion of NH 348.
The road, built on marshy lands, is further developing deeper and more cracks along the stretch, Kumar pointed out, and sent photographic evidence to the minister. The mail has been marked to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and environment minister Aditya Thackeray, apart from the high court appointed Mangrove Committee and the Coastal Regulatory Zone Management Authority. An under-construction flyover in the vicinity is also under serious structural risk due to these cracks on the road.
“We are not against any development as has been misconstrued by many project company managements, but what is the point in having development that causes this kind of environmental destruction?”, said Kumar.
Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan, said the NHAI work, apparently to facilitate smooth traffic to JNPT, has been damaging the environment and this is not the first case. “Earlier, we have pointed out the destruction of over 5000 mangroves at just one spot along NH 348, near Punjab CFS in Uran. The mangroves are dead as the NHAI has taken more than six months to restore inter-tidal water flow to these mangroves,” Pawar said.
The people responsible for this wanton act have gone scot free. There is absolutely no accountability for this sort of bulldozing of the Nature, he lamented.
Greens added that this kind of destruction is not safe not only for the villages and projects around the highway, but the highway itself with the kind of load the flyovers and the container traffic to and from the JNPT.
The environment groups pointed out that mangroves are the first line of defense for coastal areas, apart from protection shield from pollution as they act as carbon sinks, while wetlands are urban sponges that save us from floods.
The burial of wetlands at various places in Uran (Pagote, Bhendkhal, Funde, Navhghar and Khopte) has already led to unseasonal flooding of these villages and some paddy fields, said Dilip Koli of Paaramparik Machhmar Bachao Kruti Samiti.
These creations of the Nature serve as the source of livelihood for the local fishing community, Koli said the infrastructure projects threaten the lives and livelihoods at a time when the government is striving a lot to support the SMEs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *