MMRDA to map natural assets

Written by Prachi Karnik Pradhan | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 26 2007, 04:29am hrs
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has roped in the Environment Improvement Society (EIS) to chalk out a comprehensive list of natural assets, including green pastures and open spaces. MMRDA proposes to draw up an inventory of the environmental assets spread over an area of 4,355 sq km covering major growth centres like Greater Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Vasai-Virar and Kalyan. Metropolitan commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad, said at a time when green and open spaces were becoming a rarity in the region, identifying them was the first step towards ensuring their survival.

Uma Adusumalli, chief town planner and committee member, EIS, told FE that MMRDA had roped in Ahmedabad-based EPC-DPM consultants, an environmental-planning collaboration and Mumbai-based Adarkar Associates, an architecture and planning company. MMRDA has made a budgetary allocation of Rs 5 crore to the EIS for the project. In addition, EIS would contribute Rs 60 lakh for mapping the project annually, an MMRDA official said. The consultants would carry out the survey and draw the list within the next two years in the entire stretch from Mumbai to Virar, Alibaug, Khopoli, Vasai-Virar, Khopoli and Bhiwandi, she said.

Adusumalli said the planned inventory would list open spaces included in the 1991-2011 Development Plan that includes recreational grounds, playgrounds and parks, water bodies including lakes and ponds, water courses, namely, rivers and natural nullahs, coastline features like mudflats, rocky beaches, sandy beaches, and large urban green areas that includes national parks, IIT campus, Byculla zoo, Aarey Milk Colony and so on. Prasad Shetty, an MMRDA official, said the project would be executed in three phases.