A thriving wetland of Kasarvadavali near Thane district is being destroyed by reclamation and dumping of debris, revealed a report by the Thane District Wetland Base Survey Committee. It highlighted the observation by the talathi office that 81,000 metric tonnes of debris had been dumped at the site.
The report claimed that there were 88 species of birds at the site, including six endangered bird species, and five species of butterflies. In a rare incident, comb ducks had been sighted at the wetland- the first such sighting within the Thane city limits.
Earlier in February, activist Rohit Joshi had written to the wetland committee appointed by the Bombay high court alleging that as many as 8,000 truckloads of debris had been dumped at the site over the span of one month. In the light of rampant illegal dumping at the wetland near Ram Maruti Road, Kasarvadavali, the survey committee highlighted that the wetland spread over 20.9 hectares was facing a serious threat.
The report showed that the wetland was rich in biodiversity including endangered bird species such as the black-headed Ibis, painted stork, greater spotted eagle, Indian spotted eagle, curlew sandpiper and Alexandrine parakeet. “The comb duck, one of the resident ducks in our area has been reported from here recently. It is the first sighting within the Thane city limits,” read the report prepared by Seema Hardikar and Avinash Bhagar, members of the survey committee.
The wetland is also a source of agriculture and fishing activities, with paddy and vegetables being grown in the surrounding areas during the monsoon and winter-summer seasons, respectively.
As per Asian age, The report also maintained that construction waste along with plastic and sewage water was being released at the site and the Thane Municipal Corporation was constructing a road through the site. Meanwhile, the TMC claimed that villagers had been carrying out dumping.
“The committee report has confirmed what we have been saying, that the wetland is indeed rich in biodiversity and needs to be preserved. The tehsildar’s office has already served a show-cause notice to the TMC’s contractor,” said Mr Joshi.