Posted by: Prerna Bindra on
Aug 19, 2010
DNA, August 11 carries an interview of Dr Asad Rahmani, Director, BNHS
Question 1, which pertains the issue of the Navi Mumbai Airport, which has raised grave environmental concerns:
"Mumbai needs a new airport urgently as our old airport's infrastructure has been stretched to the limit. There are several factors which are to be taken into account while allotting a plot for this purpose, such as closer distance, good road connect and infrastructure, etc. While we are not against development of infrastructure, we are concerned about the damage caused to the environment in the process of development."
And here comes the clincher:
I quote, "The stretches of wetlands which will be destroyed in the process of constructing the airport will have to be replaced elsewhere. BNHS will appeal to the government that ten times the amount of ecology destroyed should be replaced. There are several areas where wetlands could be planted anew."
My questions are:
a)So is Dr Asad Rahmani giving the nod to the airport?
b)Can ecology destroyed be replaced? wetlands replaced?
c)and would this view compromise the outcome of the BNHS report on the impact of the Navi Mumbai airport?
d) Is this the position of the BNHS?
I would like to know how does one replace ecology that is destroyed? Like its some toy or TV that has been tinkered with and destroyed by a child? And never mind if it is, we will simply replace it with ten others!!
This, coming from our premiere scientific institution?
Most of us are aware of the immense battle to help protect the mangroves, and the fragile ecology of the area which the Navi Mumbai airport will destroy.
The MEF, Jairam Ramesh has taken a very strong position on this issue, going against his own colleagues and in the face of much opposition.
It may be pointed out that the CRZ rules were changed --and by the highest office-to accommodate this airport.
The biggest concern is: BNHS has been mandated with the task of preparing a report on the ecological impact of the Navi Mumbai airport, which will be a decisive factor.
Prerna Singh Bindra