Uran Mangrove zones turn into manmade deserts

Ideal for Bollywood shoots

Indian Motion Picature Producers' Association
G-1 To 7, Crescent Tower,
Near Morya House,
Opp. Vip Plaza, Link Road,
Andheri(W), Mumbai-400053.

sub:-  Uran Mangrove zones now manmade deserts, ideal for Bollywood shoots 

Dear sirs,

Bollywood film makers may not have to go as far as Rajasthan or Dubai for shooting on desert sites. Welcome to Uran across Mumbai harbour!

Lush green mangrove zones have now been turned into massive deserts and sprawling wetlands into barren lands at several places providing ideal shooting locations.

Attached pictures will give you an idea.

With none of the concerned authorities remaining unconcerned over the relentless destruction of the fragile biodiversity, Bollywood producers might as well make use of the manmade deserts and barren lands for their shoots.

This is no exaggeration as innumerable complaints to the government and the orders from environment department and even the high court appointed wetlands and mangroves committees have not yielded any results to save nature in Uran.

One has seen the movie makers rushing to Rajasthan (for romantic films like Reshma Aur Shera) or Dubai (for the likes of thriller Yalgaar), Kumar said and pointed out that Uran offers cost-effective shooting sites.

The project sites of JNPT SEZ or Navi Mumbai SEZ are no more mangrove zones. The landfill over the last three years have rendered these into deserts with not a single blade of grass in sight.

CIDCO, which has all along been neglecting environment, might as well be the nodal agency for booking film shoot sites.

Blockbusters as Rangeela were shot at Navi Mumbai railway stations and construction sites.

Destruction of environment and profit booking at any cost has been the CIDCO motto for some years now. The so-called city planner might as well look for additional source of income from film shoot sites in Uran.

CIDCO is a 26% stake holder in NMSEZ and has allotted mangrove zones and wetlands to various project proponents. CIDCO has even leased out the Panje holding pond, supposedly part of a flood control mechanism, to NMSEZ. The planner has now gobbled up the holding pond and earmarked as sector 16 to 28 in the upcoming 2,740 hectare Dronagiri Development Plan, without any Costal Zone clearance.

Once the construction starts at Panje - the once flourishing destination for over 1,50,000 birds – the sites can be used for fight sequences by Bollywood producers and directors.

The reckless, unchecked landfill has already been causing unseasonal floods and film makers might as well use these sites for flood related shots.

One feels sad that the High Court appointed committees, with all powers at their command, remained mute witnessed to the environment destruction and failed to implement their own orders.

Obviously, the IAS officers who head CIDCO and JNPT are much more powerful than the Konkan Divisional Commissioner who heads the mangrove and wetlands committees.

The last Lok Sabha election time had given a golden opportunity to land grabbers as they dumped hundreds of truckloads of earth and debris on NMSEZ sites at mangroves at Pagote and wetland at Bhendkhal. The Mangrove committee has ordered restoration of these mangroves and wetland. Yet nothing has changed.

Information obtained under the RTI from the Environment Department clearly mentions that JNPT SEZ has no coastal zone clearance, yet massive stretches of mangroves and wetlands have been buried.

The few FIRs filed remained on paper as no culprit has been named. This has further bolstered the environment crimes.

Thanks and regards.

B N Kumar

Editor & Director - NatConnect Foundation