Mumbai’s mudflats witness a migratory spectacle during the winters. Around 15,000-20,000 flamingos come from the Rann of Kutch and Siberia to their favourite roosting area at Sewri jetty.
As work on the Navi Mumbai-Sewri sea link project is set to start this month, the city runs the risk of losing out on this marvel. The Rs 11,000-crore project that has a 2019 deadline, poses a grave danger to the ecosystem.
“The BNHS has proposed a small alteration in the plan. If the construction of the bridge is shifted 500 meters to the south, it might save the flamingo area," said Atul Sathe, a Bombay Natural Historic Society (BNHS) official.
Not just the flamingos, Sewri is also known as the roosting area for several other migratory birds like the endangered black headed ibis, heron, egrets, waders and a variety of gulls . The mudflats are is one of the top important bird areas of India, and they face threat not just because of the trans-harbor link but also because of the various oil refineries in the area.
BNHS hosted a Flamingo festival that was attended by nature enthusiasts, bird-lovers and passionate photographers. “While many were aware of the threat, the beautiful creatures had no clue that this place will be out of bounds for their when they return next year. Climate change is one of the biggest threats in the world, but in India we almost turn a blind eye to it. This is probably also because we are ignorant”, said a nature enthusiast, who didn't want to be identified.