ON October 7, Tata Power submitted a proposal before the State Government for clearance of 59.75 hectares (ha) of reserved mangroves forests in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to set up extra-high-voltage (400-kilovolt) transmission lines to meet the city’s power demand. The lines will connect power stations in Navi Mumbai to receiving stations in Mumbai through 47 towers across 14.2 km.
The project includes forest patches in Diva, Chinchvali, Airoli, Mulund, Nahur, Bhandup, Kanjur, Hariyali, and Vikhroli. Moreover, it will include an additional 11.89 ha non-forest area for the project. As per reports, the estimated loss of mangrove land is equivalent to 87 full-sized football fields and accounts for 28% of 225-ha forest land in Mumbai.
The mangrove forest has over 2,000 trees and an additional 576 matured trees are expected to be cut. This would possess a great threat as mangroves have water retention capacity and can prevent flooding.
However, Divisional Forest Officer of Mangrove’s Cell D.R. Patil stated that it will take about one year for a project of this scale to get clearance as a lot of surveys will have to be conducted. Talking about the same, Nishant Bangera from Muse Foundation said,