Ominous warning for Costal cities like Mumbai.

Cyclone Nargis in Burma has left a trail of destruction and a massive death toll.

Some 95% of the homes in the city of Bogalay in the Irrawaddy delta were destroyed and most of its 190,000 residents are now homeless. The Junta govt has declared the city of Rangoon and five central and southern states, Yangon, Ayeyawaddy, Bago, Mon and Karen disaster areas.

The toll: 10000 22000+people 80000? dead and 40000+ missing , is indeed massive and Shocking. Almost all of the deaths occurred in the Irrawaddy river delta region, where more were killed by the tidal wave than the cyclone itself, Minister for Relief and Resettlement Maung Maung Swe told reporters in Rangoon. “The wave was up to 12ft (3.5m) high and it swept away and inundated half the houses in low-lying villages,” he said. “They did not have anywhere to flee.”

Guess what was the primary reason for so much destruction ? Govt Apathy and Neglect ?

Yes and NO! it is mainly due to the DESTRUCTION OF MANGROVES ….source BBC

Mangroves at Revas

Many people think that mangroves are a few dwarf weedy plants along the shoreline but mangroves are much more than that. It is a whole ecosystem acting as a buffer between land and sea. Mangroves are extensions of tropical and sub-tropical forests into the sea.Growing in the intertidal areas and estuary mouths between land and sea, mangroves provide critical habitat for a diverse marine and terrestrial flora and fauna. Healthy mangrove forests are key to healthy marine ecology.

Try the Godrej’s Mangrove site for some quality info on mangroves.

The very recent Asian Tsunami has shown us the importance of mangroves to the local ecology. In Sri lanka, two people died in the settlement with dense mangrove and scrub forest, up to 6,000 people lost their lives in a nearby village without similar vegetation.

Coastal developments had resulted in mangroves, which act as a natural defence against storms, being lost at an alarming pace. The Main Culprits are Encroachment, Real Estate, Garbage dumping, Aquaculture and Prawn Fisheries.

Bangladesh has to a limited extent realized the perils of destroying the mangroves, but will others ?

Click on the photo for an enlarged shot of the Sunder bans (Image courtsy NASA)

At home in Mumbai there was a Cloudburst and there was much talked about aftereffect .. the flooding of the Mithi river and the Milan Subway by the media.

But have the Municipal Council and the State Govt (Pretty much all parties) learnt lessons from this ? or has political compulsion scored once more ? Read this damning article, Why Mumbai choked by Mr C Prabhu on the politics of it all. His theory is stark and very real. Mumbai is being strangulated.

The Central Govt or the Supreme Court (which was quite protective of the Delhi Ridge) aren’t helping either.

There is a blog that monitors Mangrove destruction called Mumbai mangroves and things are not looking good, just recently when i went to BKC i saw a motor able kacha road made in between mangroves in place of a a small kacha foot trail – right opposite NSE building. Soon i expect the mangroves to vanish there and slums take their place once sufficient debris has been dumped by the trucks.

Little has changed and the Mah DFgovt (whose minister was once jailed for contravening Supreme a court order on saw mill ban in forest areas) is just about to bail out all those people living in private forest areas corrupt officials in govt dept that in collusion with the politicians and builders built complexes in Pvt Forests under No development area.

The Rains are coming and with the kind of temperature swings and severe summer we are facing, god knows what we have in store… This city is slowly dying .. God save this city !

Related posts : Plans to rid Mumbai of slums by 2015, Government officials used slum development funds to fatten their perks!, On Mumbai citys decline.


9 thoughts on “Ominous warning for Costal cities like Mumbai.

  1. Interesting article, Prax!
    I am sure the global warming, sorry climate change votaries will claim credit for their theory for every unseasonal shower as well. But, as you have pointed out, destruction of natural levees like mangroves may be detrimental to a country.

  2. Good post Prax. It’s such a terrible sinking feeling in one’s heart to know that about such self-destruction. Corruption is the cause. See what is happening on building residential apartments on forest lands. All corruption.

  3. Oh and thanks for the link. đŸ™‚
    Also I wanted to ask you how you managed to control the automatically generated posts to have just your link? I had a bad experience with it. All sorts of funny posts landed up at the bottom of my post and a couple which I had linked to in my main post as well. So I had to disable the function.

  4. thanks nita and rambodoc.
    doc , i think it is a mix of both – when there is climate change the tides rise and there are chances of storms and cyclones and hurricanes without mangroves our natural barriers are destroyed and mother nature takes revenge…
    i pretty much didn’t do anything on related links they still appear thanks to the all new wordpress.

  5. A very enlightening post. Didn’t know that Mangroves play such a distinct role in balancing the ecosystem to such an extent.
    I have never been to Mumbai but have heard a lot of negatives. Seems that no one is happy with the state of things there…

  6. Same here..never knew Mangroves made such big difference.Mumbai will be the victim of its own ignorance.Other cities must make an example of it and make sure the same doesn’t happen there.Another issue that Mumbai faces is the unorganised garbage dumping activities.This is ruining the face of the city.

  7. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language đŸ˜‰
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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