Biodiversity in Mumbai: Panel to seek environment impact assessment reports from project developers

Notably, year after year, Mumbai witnesses numerous developmental projects. (Representational image: IE)

Biodiversity preservation: Rapid developmental projects in Mumbai can pose a serious threat to the biodiversity in the city. So as to prevent this, the recently formed Biodiversity Management Committee could ask developers to submit Environment Impact Assessment reports, according to a report in IE. The committee, which came into effect on December 1 and consists of 23 members, has been looking at several measures that can be taken up for the protection and preservation of biodiversity in Mumbai, and it has also decided to declare areas around lakes within Mumbai as ESZ or eco-sensitive zones.

The report cited a senior officer as saying that under the proposed law of seeking reports from developers, big projects with areas exceeding 20,000 sq metres could be covered. However, at the moment the plan is at the discussion stage and the committee is hoping to cover other aspects of this at the next meeting, committee head Ramakant Biradar was quoted as saying.

The Environment Impact Assessment or EIA reports study the consequences that a particular project has on the environment, while also suggesting mitigation measures for the same.

Notably, year after year, Mumbai witnesses numerous developmental projects. These projects range from slum rehabilitation projects to the reconstruction of old buildings, apart from the usual new constructions.

In its first meeting, the committee looked at several important issues like measures to prevent pollution of the sea and rivers, and to prevent the city’s water bodies.

The first task that the panel has been entrusted to carry out is preparing a people’s biodiversity register, the report said. This register would be a detailed database of the biodiversity in the city, including marine life, flora, fauna, wildlife as well as birds. Apart from this, the pandel also has to ensure that there is equal distribution of benefits of biodiversity in Mumbai.

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