Mumbai: Panel plans to declare areas around water bodies eco-sensitive zones

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC’s) Biodiversity Management Committee is, in a bid to preserve water bodies within the metropolis, planning to declare areas around them eco-sensitive zones (ESZs). In its first meeting on Monday, the committee held a dialogue on conservation of water bodies, stopping air pollution in coastal water and rising biodiversity around the town’s gardens and parks.

The 23-member committee, headed by Deputy Municipal Commissioner, (Gardens) Ramakant Biradar, has a number of consultants from the fields of marine life, wildlife and surroundings, aside from civic officers, corporators and elected legislators. Earlier, on December 1, Mayor Kishori Pednekar had given formal approval to the proposal of structure of the committee.

According to civic officers, the committee will accumulate knowledge of the precise variety of water bodies within the metropolis and a conservation plan shall be ready. Several lakes within the metropolis are going through air pollution and risk to aquatic life since years as sewage water and waste are instantly dumped into them.

“We are planning to declare the areas around these lakes as eco-sensitive zones and have a preservation plan for the biodiversity of these lakes. The area around the lakes are eco-sensitive as there is presence of aquatic life, birds and flora-fauna… During the discussion on pollution in water bodies and in coastal water, experts suggested conservation plans,” Biradar informed The Indian Express.

He mentioned, “There are many big lakes and several water bodies that can be part of the conservation effort. Experts will be involved to turn this idea into reality.”

The committee is of the opinion that conservation of all water bodies needs to be checked out holistically. Mumbai has many lakes comparable to Bandra Talao, Sion Talao, Lotus lake in Aarey Milk Colony, Shantaram lake in Malad, Powai lake and Shivaji Talao in Bhandup.

The committee will even put together a individuals’s biodiversity register (PBR), work on conservation and preservation of organic variety, sustainable use of its parts and truthful and equitable sharing of the advantages, and regulate entry to organic resources. The knowledge shall be shared with the State and National Biodiversity Committees.

The committee has additionally determined to improve the biodiversity around its gardens. “Mumbai has over 1,000 open spaces along with several gardens. We are doing Miyawaki plantations at 64 plots. These urban forests will help in developing more biodiversity in the city,” mentioned Jeetendra Pardeshi, member-secretary of the committee and superintendent of the Gardens division.

Officials mentioned that work on making ready an in depth database of the town’s biodiversity has began.

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