City Beat: Bombay HC Tells Maharashtra Govt To Set Up A Panel To Save Wetlands [Video]
The coastal city of Mumbai is drying up gradually, and large-scale construction activities are cited as a single biggest cause for this. But the Bombay High Court has now ordered the Maharashtra government to set up a grievance redressal mechanism within six months to protect the state's wetlands.
The wetlands in Maharashtra, especially along Mumbai, are increasingly being used to build residential, commercial and industrial entities to support the state's urban expansion. To stop that, the high court had earlier directed the state to ban construction activities along wetlands.
It is estimated that wetlands cover seven per cent of the earth's surface and deliver 45 per cent of the world's natural productivity and ecosystem services.
In another development, the draft development plan for Mumbai, which was opened for public opinion by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, has received only 4,761 suggestions so far. The last date for giving suggestions was July 29. An earlier version of this document had received as many as 64,867 suggestions last year. A large-scale opposition had seen the earlier draft being withdrawn for revision. However, this huge gap in the number of suggestions could be attributed to the method the BMC has adopted for counting this time. While the civic body had counted each suggestion separately last time, this time it has clubbed the suggestions that are similar on various parameters. The BMC's calculations have drawn flak from non-governmental organisations and activist groups, which are of the view that the civic body is trying to diminish the impact of the suggestions by bringing their number down.