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WILL REPLANT MANGROVES 200 KM AWAY SAYS STATE

And the state is so keen to get clearance for the Navi Mumbai airport that it plans to replant around 350 hectares of mangroves in Dahanu, 200 km from the site. The Centre will be informed of the decision following a public hearing in the next 15 days. The state has appointed the Gujarat Ecology Commission, an expert in mangrove replanting. The state has said that the mangroves will be compensated from Navi Mumbai to Dahanu and hoe that the central environmental committee accepts this, said Minister of State for Environment Sachin Ahir. Mumbai University has been appointed to study the 10-km creek surrounding the mangroves and the airport site. The government, along with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, will conduct a public hearing on May 5 following which the report will be submitted for clearance. Ahir said the project does not face environment hurdles and the government is keen on completing the first phase by December 2013. The center’s decision to permit mangrove plantation in Dahanu to cover up for the destruction in Panvel is like having a head ache and taking medicines for stomach ache. The state might feel that replanting mangroves is an option and will push the Navi Mumbai airport project, what cannot be ignored is that no mangrove plantation can save the catastrophe that will hit Panvel as the area is below sea level and playing with the eco system will spell a disaster for Panvel and nearby region. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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