A temporary bridge built for the construction of the Mumbai port link will be kept as a birding platform

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The government of Maharashtra plans to keep a temporary bridge, built to facilitate the construction of the Mumbai Trans Harbor Link (MTHL), as a platform to observe migrating flamingos visiting Mumbai.

The 5.6 km long temporary access bridge was built to facilitate the movement of machines and men for work on the port link. The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has started construction of the 22 km long port link from the Sewri end, which will eventually link Mumbai to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).

MMRDA commissioner SVR Srinivas said: “The temporary bridge was erected to transport machinery. Demobilizing this bridge will cost us money. Instead, we’ll keep it, and it can serve as a good platform for viewing flamingos. We are in the process of developing a detailed plan. He added that the region can be developed as an independent tourist site.

MMRDA sources said the directive on maintaining the temporary access bridge came from Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray.

The Sewri mud flats near the port link are home to flamingos. Two species of flamingos – larger and smaller – arrive in Mumbai’s wetlands between November and May. While large flamingos are larger, whiter, and have a mixed feeding pattern (insects, small fish, and algae), smaller flamingos are comparatively smaller, pink in color, and feed only on algae.

Neenu Somraj, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Protection Unit, said: “There had already been plans for a walk in the mangroves of Sewri. But this plan was abandoned. If the temporary platform is kept, it can be used for bird watching. Besides the flamingos, many other birds come here. We observed that the work on the port connection did not greatly disrupt the movement of the flamingos. This has also been found in studies conducted by the Bombay Natural History Society. “

The mangrove protection cell had recently suggested mitigation measures to MMRDA to reduce lighting work on the bridge under construction so that there is less disruption to flamingos after dusk, officials said. .

NGO environmentalist D Stalin from Vanashakti said: “It is a good idea to keep the platform for nature lovers to connect with wildlife. This is a good example of enhancing biodiversity alongside development work.


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