Seawoods golf course project gets green crusaders riled up

Times of India

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NAVI MUMBAI: Activists of Navi Mumbai Environment Preservation Society (NMEPS) and other groups have been opposing plans to build a private golf course along Palm Beach Road in Seawoods area.

“We have recently come to know about an old plan to have a golf course along the creek side of Palm Beach Road, near the Seawoods Estate (NRI complex) being reopened. Though, at this stage we do not know which private party is involved, we are going to strongly oppose it and urge the authorities to not allow it,” said Sandeep Bangia of NMEPS.

Several birds like flamingos, ducks, herons and others are seen in these parts of the wetlands off Palm Beach Road. “The golf course idea is therefore bad. For an elitist sport like golf, damaging the area’s biodiversity cannot be encouraged and we at NMEPS oppose it,” Bangia said.

Environmentalist D Stalin of NGO Vanashakti said his organisation has discussed the matter with members of NMEPS. “Some private lobby is working hard to somehow get the golf course plan cleared. But that would be atrocious, as that area has mangroves and is therefore a a Coastal Regulation Zone. We have got in touch with Cidco officials and asked them to further assess the situation.”

Activist Debi Goenka of the Conservation Action Trust said around eight years ago, there was some talk within Cidco and the state government regarding the plan to have a golf course along Palm Beach road. “The plan did not materialize then, but I think some lobby is again trying to revive it. I am also against a golf course there,” Goenka said.

According to residents, with a fully functional golf course at Kharghar, there is no need to have a second one at Seawoods.
Activists are planning to get more details about the project from the state government by filing an RTI application.
Cidco spokesperson Mohan Ninawe said, “I do not know the exact details, but a private party has approached the courts with regards to the golf course. I will have to get the information from the relevant department, since environmentalists are planning to oppose the project soon.”

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