MUMBAI: Hailing Prime Minister’s world environment day message to protect bio-diversity, activists have requested him to create a national green police to check ecological violations and frame an inclusive environment policy that takes care of the nature and does not destroy it under the guise of development.
In an on-going online campaign that enjoys the support of about 10,000 people, the environment NGO NatConnect Foundation has called for a close and strict monitoring of the implementation of environmental clearance conditions. “We appeal to the PM to declare the National Green Police as an environment day project and issue guidelines for the States,” Kumar said.
The pandemic has shown us how the Nature heals itself if there is no human intervention. Clean air, transparent river waters, pollution less streets and free birds flocking to water bodies, said B N Kumar, director of NatConnect Foundation and drew the government’s attention to the recent WHO manifesto for a green and healthy recovery from COVID 19, covering aspects such as protecting the nature, focusing on water and sanitation, clean energy, healthy and sustainable food policy, and stopping subsidising fossil fuels.
The subject environment deserves a fresh approach beginning with basic lessons to the policy makers who do not seem to realise the importance of wetlands, river regulatory zones, CRZ and mangroves, the petition to the Prime Minister said. While drawing development plans for cities and infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports and so on we must integrate long-term public good and health into all aspects of urban planning, from sustainable transport systems to healthy housing, Kumar said.
Stating that we are not against any development activity, the NGO pointed out that the Ahmedbad-Mumbai Bullet Train project is slated to literally run over and destroy 54,000 mangroves – equivalent to five-and-a-half Azad Maidans - and unsettle the entire bio-diversity of MMR which is officially confirmed.
Supporting the TimeForNatureMumbai campaign, Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan said the Navi Mumbai SEZ is a big example of faulty allotment of land as wetlands and mangrove zones have been given to this project by CIDCO. NMSEZ, in which CIDCO is 26 per cent partner, has destroyed thousands of mangroves and vast stretches of wetlands of Pagote and Bhendkhal and dried up Panje wetland.
The work on JNPT’s container terminal number 4 has resulted in killing of 4,500 mangroves for which the state forest department has already collected a penalty of Rs one lakh and filed a case in a Panvel court. Yet, JNPT’s work on the Terminal No 4 is on which is destroying mangroves, much against the environment clearance given by MCZMA, Pawar said.