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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Experts from National Institute of Oceanography complete translocation of corals

Officials said that as of now there is no clarity if more corals have been identified during translocation against what was planned.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai | Updated: November 22, 2020 12:42:13 pm
Mumbai coastal road project, CRZ notification, Mumbai city news, mumbai coastal project coral removal, marine drive, worli, bandraBMC is executing the 10.58-km Coastal Road project from Princess Street Flyover to Worli end of Bandra-Worli Sealink at a cost of Rs 12,721 crore.  (Photo by Shaunak Modi)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that experts from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) completed the task of translocating the corals at Haji Ali and Worli to new locations on Monday. Last week, the civic body had started the translocation of 18 colonies of corals coming in way of the Coastal Road project.

Officials said that as of now there is no clarity if more corals have been identified during translocation against what was planned.

Officials from the Coastal Road department said that the NIO experts will submit a completion report in the next few days, with details of the exact areas where the corals have been moved. While the corals from Worli have been moved just outside the project area, the corals at Haji Ali have been translocated at Navy Nagar, Colaba. For the next one year, BMC officials and NIO experts will visit the new locations once a month to check the corals.

“The process of translocation started on Thursday and was completed on Monday. Since experts from NIO handled it, they will submit a detailed completion report in the next few days. These corals have been tagged to track their growth,” said a BMC official. Chief Engineer (Coastal Road) V S Nighot confirmed the development.

Officials said that whether there were more corals than those identified in earlier surveys will be known only after NIO submit its report. Forest department officials said that at Haji Ali there were more coral colonies than identified in surveys.

“NIO is measuring each and every colony and with the help of software they will calculate the total area of corals. Only then we will get to know if it is less or more than the area mentioned in the earlier report,” said a Forest department official.

NIO had identified six coral species at Worli and Haji Ali: two species of the Rhizangiidae family (Oulangia and one unidentified species) with 18 colonies documented across 0.251 sqm in Worli and another species (Dendrophylliidae family) along with Rhizangiidae across 0.11 sqm area at Haji Ali. The species documented are hard corals and are visible during the low tide.

“Since NIO is involved in the translocation process, they will submit a report to BMC and the Forest department informing them about completing the process. After that we will verify the facts and scrutinise the area of translocation. Then only we can comment whether translocation has been completed or not,” said an official from Mangrove Cell.

On Monday, Forest department officials visited Haji Ali and found a few more colonies of false pillow corals and subsequently NIO was informed. Shifting of those corals has been completed.

BMC is executing the 10.58-km Coastal Road project from Princess Street Flyover to Worli end of Bandra-Worli Sealink at a cost of Rs 12,721 crore.

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