Coastal and River Zone Management: Perspectives from Mumbai. by-Rishi Aggarwal


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Observer Research Foundation, made a rousing presentation on the neglected aspects of CRZ interpretation and implementation in Mumbai. Presented several case studies emphasizing that CRZ implementation was not up to the mark. Marked the lack of proper solid waste management strategies in a city like Mumbai.

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Coastal and River Zone Management: Perspectives from Mumbai. by-Rishi Aggarwal

  1. 1. International Workshop on Coastal and River Zone Management: Regulations and Development Perspectives from Mumbai Rishi Aggarwal January 10-11th, 2013 IIT-Bombay Organised by NEERI and IITB
  2. 2. How would things happen if the 74th amendment was being implemented in spirit? • Center would give guidelines • State would incorporate specific points of interest from State context • City or town Mayor final level of development of coastal, estuary or river zone development rules, balancing local interests, requirements and concerns, while incorporating the concerns in the Center and State guidelines. • All stakeholders would have been working together in some measure in spite of differences.
  3. 3. How it happens in Mumbai • Most people have no idea of who is finally taking a call and influencing the decision. • Economic interests, think (or are mislead) that environmentalists are all powerful and stalling development. • Environmentalists rue not having a seat on the table, gross neglect of environmental interests from government and colluding with economic interests.
  4. 4. Aspects of coastal ecology needing appreciation • Role in providing a livable habitat, with moderation in temperature being a key aspect. Hence preferred urban destinations. • Comparable to fertile agricultural lands in terms of food output. • Ports and trade. Provides employment opportunities. • Disaster management role
  5. 5. Compare this We pay avg. 4-5 lacs to get CO2, SO2, We pay nothing to get fresh oxygen and air
  6. 6. CRZ II – The bane and bone of contention in Mumbai • CRZ II and the arbitrariness in its use has created enormous heartburn in Mumbai. • Dominant view that rich and influential will get away while the poor and those who cannot ‘pay up’ will suffer.
  7. 7. Site indicated in red shade triangle ‘apparently’ stuck due to lack of CRZ clearance, while slums and a slum redevelopment takes place right next to creek. Andheri(W), Juhu Versova Road
  8. 8. Building at site indicated by shorter red line in previous slide
  9. 9. Implications of CRZ for C & D Wards
  10. 10. Are environmentalists stalling development? • Or are they taking a long term view over a short term view? • Or are they bringing out aspects which will damage the economy, being suppressed by those ‘pro-development’? • Opposing activities, which will yield short term high profits and possible losses in long term loss. • Opposing activities which cause economic gain for very few but loss through negative externalities, which have to be borne by large number of public.
  11. 11. Most important… • CRZ cannot be looked at in isolation of policies in other sectors like housing, transport and solid waste management. • It is a web and only a holistic sense of planning with a lot of integrity and commitment to the city and citizens can help avoid the conflicts and deadlock we face. • Some case studies follow on SWM, Housing and Transport
  12. 12. Solid Waste –Biggest threat to coast ecology in Mumbai • End of the pipe solution preferred going against all established wisdom AND policy. • MSW 2000 Rules and subsequent legislations clearly mandate support to segregation at source and reduced transport to garbage dumps. • Yet the sole focus of MCGM in past decade has been on pick and dump. • Almost zero encouragement to entrepreneurs interested in decentralized waste management.
  13. 13. Kanjur dumping ground case study • MCGM submitted affidavit in Bombay HC 2005/06, informing that the site is free of CRZ(tidal) influence and free of habitation in the vicinity. This is a lie. • Even today in 2013 the site sees heavy influx of tidal waters during high tide. • Supposed to be a sanitary landfill. Past six months leachate being released outside boundary wall into the estuary.
  14. 14. 2012
  15. 15. 2005
  16. 16. Pick and dump BMC and MPCB have a lot to answer for this 2012-13 budget allocation for SWM is ~2000 crores
  17. 17. Kanjur salt pans converted to dumping ground June 2012 Photo: Stalin/Vanashakti
  18. 18. Photo: Stalin/Vanashakti
  19. 19. Photo: Stalin/Vanashakti
  20. 20. What happened to segregation? Should batteries also come to the dumping ground?
  21. 21. Dry waste being collected and disposed separately Makarand Society, Mahim
  22. 22. Rag pickers do more for coastal ecology than even activists and certainly more than officials. Do we involve them in discussions?
  23. 23. These sights don’t move the administration
  24. 24. Transport • Coast Road has been the latest coastal concern for Mumbai • Being proposed by CM as the solution to our traffic congestion problems. • Transport analysts and activists continuously protesting that the city has to improve public transport and retrain private cars. Still investment only in car centric infrastructure like coast road.
  25. 25. So we propose a coast road…
  26. 26. …or a sea link
  27. 27. And then this happens…
  28. 28. Housing issues
  29. 29. 40 500 acres of mangroves destroyed for a golf course and a villa scheme
  30. 30. Poor interest in water quality and edge management
  31. 31. Mumbai context • No instance in last decade of ALL stakeholders spending time together to understand each others viewpoints and evolving a well thought out local plan • Ready availability of resources for activities like mapping and planting mangroves (almost useless activity), but no resources for protection and prosecution units for protecting existing mangroves. • First responders to threats to coastal ecology invariably activists. What can be called Rooftop Network.
  32. 32. Mumbai context • Elected representatives, the mainstay of a democracy looked upon with great suspicion by civil society. Substantial interaction only with officials. • No clear demarcation of HTL • CRZ more a tool of extortion than conservation? • Very important to have detailed interaction about CRZ, 2011 and its significance for Mumbai.
  33. 33. Thank you