Greens urge Maharashtra govt to declare Panje as bird sanctuary | Navi Mumbai News

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NAVI MUMBAI: Following recent developments at the bird-rich Panje wetland in Uran, wherein an earth excavator machine was noticed by nature lovers at the site, the city greens have shot an urgent letter to the state authorities seeking to declare Panje as a bird sanctuary and save it from further destruction.
“Earlier this week, some suspicious activities have been going on at Panje, which threaten to further degrade the 89 hectares of the wetland. Some bird watchers who wanted to do nature photography were stopped from entering inside the site; a huge earth excavator machine was also seen there,” said BN Kumar of NatConnect Foundation.
Kumar further stated: “While we thank the Maharashtra government for saving the verdant Aarey forest recently, we are desperately urging Uddhav Thackeray and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray to save Panje by declaring it a bird sanctuary. Action should be taken now or else it will be too late.”
Several city activists have demanded that the earlier plan to make a Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone (NMSEZ) at Uran be scrapped in order to save the existing wetlands.
“In the past, sluice gates were illegally installed at Panje to control the intertidal water. All this smacks of vested interests trying to take over the entire area for development,” said Kumar.
City based environmentalist, Sunil Agarwal of Save Navi Mumbai Environment, commented: “We have also reminded the government authorities that India has launched a national action plan for the conservation of migratory birds along with the Central Asian Flyway. Panje is an important birding site, and is also vital for the local fishermen.”
Agarwal further added: “Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, said recently that Panje wetlands is an important birding area for migratory birds including Flamingos. So, we all demand that it be preserved as a sanctuary.”

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