At least 54,000 Mangrove Trees to lose lives over Bullet Train Project in Maharashtra

Maharashtra will soon loose over 13.36 hectares of mangroves. According to a Hindustan Times report, a minimum of 54,000 mangrove trees will be razed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.

Confirming these figures on Monday, the state transport minister Diwakar Raote told the legislative council that the government will plant five times the trees that will be cut and will compensate the locals who are likely to be affected.

Acoordig to a report by The Wire, a total of 1,379 hectares will likely be acquired for the project – 724.13 hectares of private land in Gujarat and 270.65 hectares in Maharashtra. “As much as 188 hectares of private land in Palghar district are going to be acquired, of which 2.95 hectares have been purchased as per the private negotiation policy of the state,” the minister reportedly said. About 3,500 people will be affected in Palghar.

Raote further said that the state has acquired 84.81 hectares of land belonging to 6,589 farmers in Thane district. In Mumbai, the state will purchase 39.252 square metres of private land for the project, which is expected to cost Rs 1.1 lakh crore, in Vikhroli.

In some parts of Navi Mumbai, Raote said, there will be “no chopping of trees” and “no threat of flooding.”  “The project will run on high pillars, to ensure the damage to mangroves and the environment is minimum.”

Mangroves help prevent flooding, especially in low-lying areas. A 2014 study titled ‘Mangroves for coastal defence‘ notes that the dense roots of these trees help to bind and build soils. “The above-ground roots slow down water flows, encourage deposition of sediments and reduce erosion.”

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