Navi Mumbai Activists Demand Action to Protect DPS Flamingo Lake

Navi Mumbai, 12th May 2024: In Navi Mumbai, environmental activists marked World Migratory Bird Day with a silent human chain protest aimed at safeguarding the habitats of migratory birds, particularly flamingos, in the region. The protesters, holding banners and placards bearing messages like #SaveDPSflamingoLake, emphasized the importance of preserving wetlands, such as the 30-acre DPS Flamingo Lake, which are vital for the avian species that make Mumbai their home during certain seasons.

The DPS Flamingo Lake has been facing threats due to activities obstructing tidal water flow, leading to its desiccation, in contravention of a Bombay High Court ruling. NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar highlighted the detrimental impact on flamingos, with several deaths and injuries reported due to disruptions in their habitat caused by human interference.

Despite complaints lodged with authorities, including the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) and the Chief Minister, concrete action to address the situation is yet to materialize. Sandip Sareen from Navi Mumbai Environment Preservation Society (NMEPS) suggested that the matter may constitute contempt of court, prompting the organization to seek legal recourse.

Anjali Agrawal of Save Flamingos and Mangroves Forum expressed disappointment over the lack of flamingo sightings even on World Migratory Bird Day, despite assurances from municipal and forest department officials regarding efforts to restore water flow to the lake.

Placards at the protest conveyed messages urging the protection of nature’s beauty, emphasizing the importance of wetlands, and advocating for the conservation of flamingo habitats. Activists criticized the indifference of CIDCO officials and called for greater accountability among authorities responsible for environmental oversight.

Belapur-based activist Hemant Katkar lamented the apathy of authorities towards environmental concerns, emphasizing the need for officials to be held accountable for their actions and the resulting environmental degradation, especially considering their roles as custodians of taxpayer-funded resources.