While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received green signal for translocating endangered corals from Mumbai’s coast, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Wildlife, has asked the civic body to ensure survival and growth of the corals at the new site.
The forest department has instructed the BMC that in case of any mishappening during the process, which endangers the safety of the corals, the government can then revoke the permission.
On October 29, The Indian Express reported that the PCCF (Wildlife), Nagpur, had issued permit to the BMC for translocating 18 colonies of corals that are threatened due to reclamation for the coastal road project at Worli and Haji Ali. While granting permission, the chief conservator’s office has listed six additional conditions.
The permission copy states, “The chief engineer of Mumbai coastal road project shall ensure adequate protection to the coral species during the entire process and also monitor at the translocated site with respect to survival and growth.” The BMC has also been asked to submit a completion report to the state and central government.
According to the letter, the translocation of corals should be completed between October 29 and December 31, 2020, in the presence of Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Mangrove Cell) or representative of the forest department and presence of an expert from the Wildlife Institute of India, or National Institute of Oceanography (NIO).
The BMC is executing the 10.58-km coastal road from Princess Street Flyover to Worli end of Bandra-Worli Sealink. The project will cost.
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Rs 12,700 crore. The civic body had appointed NIO to study the presence of marine biodiversity along the project area. In its report, 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 at Worli and another species (Dendrophylliidae family) along with Rhizangiidae at Haji Ali. The species documented are hard corals and are visible during the low tide.
BMC officials said they will finish the translocation in November as they need two days of low tide for the work. The corals from Worli will be translocated in Worli outside the project area; corals from Haji Ali will be moved to Marine Lines.
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