Times News Network, 3 October 2018
The recent installation of a sluice gate to block inter-tidal seawater at Panje, the last surviving wetland at Uran, has got the environmentalists worried.
The local villagers at Panje are alleging that sluice gate has been put up by those interested in illegally grabbing the wetland.
Activist Debi Goenka of the Conservation Action Trust, has written to various state authorities, including forest department (mangrove cell), Konkan divisional commissionerate, Cidco, among others about the issue and urged the officials to save this surviving wetland by removing the sluice gate.
“It is very worrisome to note that a new sluice gate has been put up at the Panje coast. This setup does not allow seawater to flow back into the mangroves; which means that the entire wetland can die in the next few days if the authorities do not remove it. This new construction is also a violation of the latest final order of the Bombay high court regarding my petition on preservation and protection of mangroves in Maharashtra.”
Naturalist and documentary filmmaker, Aishwarya Sridhar said, “I had also visited Panje two days ago to photograph the wetland birds. I was shocked to see that a new sluice gate has been erected. So many wetland birds, including flamingos visit this wetland. But if the seawater is stopped from going into the mangroves, then the entire land will become barren and no birds will visit it again.”