River fury hits back at Navi Mumbai airport site, drowns 4 JCBs, 3 dumpers | Navi Mumbai News

10 / 100
NAVI MUMBAI: Could this be nature’s way of hitting back at man? Four JCBs and three dumper trucks were submerged in the swollen Ulwe river during Wednesday’s heavy rain at the Navi Mumbai International Airport site at Ulwe, where work to divert the flow of water is going on. Several tools deployed at the site were also submerged, leading to property damage. No casualty has been reported.
Green activists reiterated that destroying local wetlands, mangroves, cutting of hillocks, river diversions at the airport site is bound to cause floods in future, even after the airport is built.
In the latest letter written to the Expert Appraisal Committee (Infra 2) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, environmentalist Debi Goenka of the Conservation Action Trust has pointed out that it is alarming that five rivers — Ulwe, Gadhi, Taloja, Kalundri and Kasadi — have to be diverted to construct the airport. More flood zones will be created in Panvel, Ulwe, Dronagiri areas as a result, he said.
“In spite of the diverse, sensitive ecology of the airport project site, and numerous objections by activists, the Environment and coastal zone clearance for the airport was granted in 2010. At that time, we were told that only two rivers — Ulwe and Gadhi — will be diverted from the main airport area. But now, it is shocking that five rivers will be rechannelled at the site. The airport project is a mess, and we must brace for further flash floods in nearby areas including the upcoming Ulwe node in future,” said Goenka.
Head of corporate communications of GVK group, Ram Mankekar, told TOI: “The Ulwe river incident took place just outside our jurisdiction of the airport project. Cidco is carrying out river diversion work there… ”
A statement put out by Cidco late Thursday evening said that work of Ulwe hill- cutting on both sides of the Ulwe recourse channel is in progress… “Due to heavy rainfall coupled with hightide, water level rose, leading to submergance of machinery deployed. Four excavators and three dumpers got submerged. There is no casualty,” the statement said.
Environmentalist D Stalin of Vanashakti, an NGO, and member of the high court-appointed wetlands grievance redress panel, said: “Various wetland birds used to visit the area where the airport is being planned. It is worrisome to see how this project will shape up, and its effect on local environment.”
Navi Mumbai activist B N Kumar of NatConnect Foundation said, “Our wetlands and mangroves offer natural flood resistance. But manic reclamation and diversion of rivers are dangerously playing with nature, and there is bound to be an eco-backlash… We need to think of the reaction to our current actions.’’

Source link

Recommended For You

About the Author: Kharghar Local