Your Society continued its endeavors to preserve ecologically sensitive spots in the city
through its PIL in the Bombay High Court (PIL 218/2013).
Through 2017-18, the prayers focused on challenging the 5 th October 2016, Government of
Maharashtra issued notification no TPB – 4316/1340/CR-97/03/UD-11 which proposed to
change the land use in sector 60 Nerul from ‘No Development Zone’ to Residential and
Regional Park including a golf course with an adjacent residential complex. This area is rich
in biodiversity and is the habitat of many bird spices including flamingoes. Hearings are
continuing and over 1000 concerned citizens have sent petitions to Government of
Maharashtra to cancel the notification.
Your Society has highlighted in the High Court the fact that the diversion of these wetlands
for uses outside of those directly connected with preservation and promotion of the
wetlands is not only environmentally damaging but also lawfully incorrect, given that most
of these lands have been officially recognized as wetlands by the Department of Forests.
Your society’s petition has been supported by an independent assessment conducted by
the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), a body widely respected for its expertise and
often a reference point on environmental matters. The Final Report of the Baseline Survey
of birds for the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) was issued in the
month of March 2017, and categorically calls for preservation of the NRI and T. S. Chanakya
Wetlands, asking that “Under no circumstances be these lands diverted for any other use”
Given the recent Supreme and High Court orders and expert opinion favoring non-
diversion of these wetlands, your Society is hopeful of a favorable judgment in the coming
months. Final hearings in this matter have already begun.
In addition, The Bombay High Court, in its order of 4 th August 2015, issued directions to
form a Navi Mumbai Mangroves Protection Coordinating Committee under the
Chairmanship of the Divisional Commissioner, Konkan Division. The members of the
Committee are GM Environment, CIDCO, Additional Municipal Commissioner, NMMC, DCP
Special Branch, Navi Mumbai Police, President NMEPS and Divisional Forest Officer,
Mangroves Cell as Member Secretary.
In addition, the GoM has formed a Konkan Division Wetlands Redressal Committee under
the chairmanship of the Divisional Commissioner. President, NMEPS is a Special Invitee.
Both the Committees hold regular meetings and complaints received are acted upon. We
are pleased to report that the Committees are active and working well.