Work at Mumbai's JNPT kills 4,550 mangroves

Work at Mumbai's JNPT kills 4,550 mangroves

A view of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust near Mumbai.

Confirming the fears of massive loss of mangroves in the construction work undertaken by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Uran area, the forest department has reported the "death" of 4,550 mangrove plants spread across 4.5 hectares.

Responding to a query by local fishermen leader Ramdas Koli, Regional Forest Officer B D Gaikwad admitted the massive destruction of mangroves.

This happened as JNPT was doing landfill for its Container Terminal-4, Gaikwad said and explained: “It has come to our notice during our inspection that 4,550 mangrove plants on 4.5 hectares have dried up due to the non-availability of sea water. These plants do not seem to be alive.”

Koli said this is really shocking and confirms our complaints to various authorities. The mangroves are vital not only for protecting the coastal line but for breeding of fish too.

“It is our constitutional right to practice our hereditary business of catching and selling fish and this is being denied to us as large fishing areas in the creek are being filled for construction by JNPT,” he was quoted as saying in a press statement issued by ecology-focused website – .

This is one of the biggest massacre of mangroves in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), said Nandkumar Pawar, founder-director of Shree Ekavira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP). Pawar has complained to the Konkan Divisional Commissioner about the destruction of the environment and even took CIDCO officials around to show them the environmental degradation.

“After the Parsik Hills which have been destroyed due to reckless quarrying, it seems to be the turn of mangroves in this act of not caring for the environment,” he said.

The forest department's admission that 4,550 mangroves are lost is only a tip of the iceberg, Pawar said while pointing out large-scale violations of the National Green Tribunal's orders.