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Maharashtra CM Shinde asks upright IAS officer Tukaram Mundhe to probe into flamingo deaths in Navi Mumbai

Environment lovers have high hopes from Mundhe as he is familiar with the city as he had served as the Commissioner of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), said said NatConnect director B N Kumar.
Last Updated : 28 April 2024, 09:24 IST
Last Updated : 28 April 2024, 09:24 IST

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Navi Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has asked IAS officer and former Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe to inquire into the recent spate of flamingo deaths in Navi Mumbai.

Quickly responding to NatConnect Foundation's appeal for a high level inquiry into the deaths of 10 flamingos within less than a week, the CM has directed Mundhe to look into the issue and take action.

Mundhe is currently the secretary of Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Department.

“We are happy that the CMO acted swiftly and referred it to Mundhe, known as a non-nonsense and upright IAS officer who has been transferred 20 times in his 18-year long career,” said NatConnect director B N Kumar.

Environment lovers have high hopes from Mundhe as he is familiar with the city as he had served as the Commissioner of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), Kumar said.

As many as 10 flamingos died and five were injured around the DPS lake. It is recognised as one of the important satellite wetlands for the pink birds. Flamingos come to this wetland when the water level rises during high tide at the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS). Flamingos are comfortable only in 15 cm to 18 cm of water.

Kumar has complained to the CM that the tidal water inlets to the DPS Flamingo Lake are choked. In fact, the main inlet from the creek on the southern end of the lake has been buried with the road construction for the unused Nerul jetty.

He recalled that the NMMC itself was keen to conserve the wetland as a flamingo abode and tourist attraction and even roped in BNHS for the project. But CIDCO has so far refused to hand over the work to NMMC.

CIDCO has transferred about 25 lakes to the civic body but retained the DPS Flamingo Lake, NRI and TS Chanakya wetlands with it. CIDCO has in fact marked the wetland at Sector 52 of Nerul for “future development”.

Rekha Sankhala of Save Flamingos and Mangroves forum said vested interests are to blame for the burial of water inlets at DPS Flamingo Lake.

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Published 28 April 2024, 09:24 IST

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