Locals in Kunde gaon threaten to boycott LS polls

PTI file photo for representation.

Fed up with the political inaction when it comes to preventing floods caused by unchecked land reclamation around their village, locals in Kunde gaon in the Uran tehsil near Mumbai have threatened to boycott the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Angry villagers have told environment activists and media persons who visited the area that not a single official or political leader came to assess the situation in the village.

“We have now decided to boycott the election and not a single villager will go to the poll booths,” said Dinkar Patil, a resident of the village. His views was echoed by other locals present. 

Kunde, which is located off the satellite township of Navi Mumbai, has 1000 voters in all.

Following this development, an official team deputed by the Bombay High Court appointed Mangrove Monitoring Committee, visited the area for an on-the-spot study.

The team, comprising of CIDCO environment officer Pramod Patil, Uran tehsildar Kalpana Gode and revenue officer Lakshman Thakur went round the village and identified the source of the flood as described by the villagers.

The villagers alleged that reclamation that has been going on in the wetlands within NMSEZ plots has led to blocking of free flow of water, which in turn has led to flooding of their homes during high tide.

“We had water in our home for three days,” said Vaishali Baliram Madhvi, another resident.

The official team saw massive stretches of mangroves destroyed, apparently by to the stoppage of creek water.

After prolonged arguments, CIDCO finally agreed to have the blockage removed and allow free flow of high and low tides.

Asked about reviving the mangrove growth, CDCO’s Pramod Patil said he would like to wait for ten days to see if they rejuvenate on their own once the water flow restarts.

Land reclamation resumed 

Within hours, however, the landfilling activities were resumed on Wednesday, much to the shock and dismay of environmental activists who lodged a complaint with the mangrove committee.

“You will appreciate the fact that one cannot interfere with the natural flow of water and as the age-old saying goes water finds its own course which it did in the case of Kunde,” activist B N Kumar, director of The Nature Connect told the mangrove committee, according to a press statement issued here.

The fresh landfill is bound further complicate the crisis rather than solving it, said Nandakumar Pawar head of Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishathan. “Another high-tide period is close-by during the forthcoming Holi poornima and this will mean that Kunde villagers will celebrate the festival in flood waters,” he said.

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Locals in Kunde gaon threaten to boycott LS polls

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