Dolphins in Mumbai waters
Dolphins were spotted in the sea along Mumbai coast last week. This was probably the most pleasant news amidst the constantly rising pollution in the sea around Mumbai. Being the top predators in the aquatic food chain, dolphins are considered to be the indicators of the ecological health of their habitat. Occasional spotting of dolphins is not a new thing for the fishermen on the Konkan coast. However, this time the dolphins were seen very close to the coast, which has actually puzzled even the experts.
Bird population dwindles
A voluntary movement to count number of bird species in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) has been going on since past 14 years under the name of Mumbai Bird Race. Around 380 participants could spot 234 bird species in various parts of the city and its adjacent areas on February 10. The chilly weather led to spotting of migratory birds in more numbers. However, the regular birdwatchers are worried as the number of bird species spotted during the day has decreased for the fifth year in row. The number remains lower than the least number of sightings recorded a decade ago in 2008. The observations made also reflected on the poor condition of wetlands.
BMC debates on bins
The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had mooted a proposal to have 560 perforated stainless steel garbage bins at a distance of 50 meters in line with the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. But when the proposal came up for discussion, it came to light that the Central team had already completed its cleanliness survey and the city is unlikely to get the numbers for dustbins in the national cleanliness competition, the first reaction was to reject the proposal to install the bins. The BMC had to convince others that the bins would still be used to throw garbage.
Tunnel under SGNP belly cleared
Mumbai’s lungs — the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) — has been facing a lot of threats from several developmental projects being planned around it. One of such projects was the tunnel under the park to provide quick connectivity between Thane and Borivali. The proposal for this 11-km-long and 6-lane wide tunnel had been blocked for a long time as it involved blasting of rocks. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation has now mooted a new proposal that involves use of Tunnel Boring Machines like the ones being used for the underground metro line in the city. The proposal has been cleared by the SGNP administration.