WETLANDS DEGRADATION AND CONVERSION DUE TO URBANISATION IN MUMBAI METROPOLITAN REGION: ACUTE PROBLEMS WITH LONG TERM SOLUTIONS
Authors: Sanjay RODE
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Wetlands are providing ecosystem services to human communities. They support food production, water treatment
and water supply, flood control, fishing, recreation and wildlife habitat. But wetlands area is shrinking very fast all
over to world due to high urbanization. In developing countries, the destruction of wetlands is widely observed. In
India, the wetlands area, size and number is declining very fast due to population growth and urbanization.
Mumbai Metropolitan Region is not exception to this phenomenon. The wetland area is significantly declining in all
suburbs of region over the period of time. The ordinary least square regression result shows that solid waste,
agriculture and other land is negatively co-related to wetland in all suburbs of Mumbai Metropolitan Region. In all
the suburbs, the wetland and forest land is converted for built up area. There is huge loss is earned annually and
in past due to wetlands destruction in Mumbai suburb, Thane and Uran in region. The maximum loss is incurred
for recreation and flood control. Therefore immediate policies are required to protect wetlands in region. State
government should come out with future plans, legislation and co-ordination among various bodies, NGO’s to
protect wetlands in region. The protection, scientific conservation of wetlands will improve wetlands related
services and welfare of people in region.