Draft Notification : Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change



New Delhi, the 8th April, 2021

S.O 1719(E).—In supersession of the draft notification published by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change vide number S.O. 4025 (E), dated 6th November, 2019, the following draft of the notification, which the Central Government proposes to issue in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1), read with clause (v) and clause (xiv) of sub-section (2) and sub- section (3) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) is hereby published, as required under sub-rule (3) of rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, for the information of the public likely to be affected thereby; and notice is hereby given that the said draft notification shall be taken into consideration on or after the expiry of a period of sixty days from the date on which copies of the Gazette containing this notification are made available to the public;

Any person interested in making any objections or suggestions on the proposals contained in the draft notification may forward the same in writing, for consideration of the Central Government within the period so specified to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jorbagh Road, Aliganj, New Delhi-110 003, or send it to the e-mail address of the Ministry at [email protected]


WHEREAS, the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary is situated in Mumbai sub-urban district in the State of Maharashtra and has an area of 16.90 square kilometers;

AND WHEREAS, the area is rich in biodiversity with diverse avian fauna such as lesser flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor), greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), little ringed plover (Pluvialis fulva), grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola), white breasted kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola), green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus), marsh sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis), Terek sandpiper (Xenus cinereus), common greenshank (Tringa nebularia), common redshank (Tringa totanus), spotted redshank (Tringa erythropus), common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), little stint (Calidris minuta), Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminchii), Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea), Dunlin (Calidris alpina), broad-billed sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus), black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa), bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica), black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata), whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), cattle egret (Babulcus ibis), little egret (Egrettagarzetta), intermediate egret (Mesophoyx intermedia), great egret (Casmerodius albus) western reef-egret (Egretta gularis), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), purple heron (Ardea purpurea), striated heron (Butorides striata), black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Indian pond heron (Ardeola grayii), black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus), glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala), Asian openbill (Anastomus oscitans) Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), slender-billed gull (Chroicocephalus genei), Heuglin’s gull (Larus fuscus heuglini), black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), brown-headed gull (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus), Pallas’s gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus), whiskered tern (Chlidonias hybrida), gull-billed tern (Gelochelidon nilotica), little tern (Sternula albifrons), Caspain tern (Hydroprogne caspia), River tern (Sterna aurantia), Indian skimmer (Rynchops albicollis), lesser crested tern (Thalasseus bengalensis), greater crested tern (Thalasseus bergii), white-bellied sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), black kite (Milvus migrans), clamorous reed-warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus), white-spotted fantail (Rhipidura albicollis), white-eared bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis), house crow (Corvus splendens), jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos), little bee-eater (Pycnonotus jocosus), blue- tailed bee-eater (Merops philippinus), ashy prinia(Prinia socialis), blue-cheeked bee-eater (Merops persicus), common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), white-throated kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), lesser whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica), long-tailed shrike  (Lanius  schach), Indian cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis), little cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger), red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer), Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis), European roller (Coracias garrulus), Blyth’s starling (Blyth’s starling), Asian pied starling (Gracupica contra), rosy starling (Pastor roseus), chestnut- tailed starling (Sturnia malabarica), red avadavat (Amandava amandava), baya weaver (Ploceus philippinus), scaly-breasted munia (Longhura punctulata), etc;

AND WHEREAS, diverse species of flora are also found in Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary which includes kandal (Rhizophora mucronata), kandal (Bruguiera cylindrica), kirkiri (Ceriops tagal), tivar (Avicennia marina), tivar (Avicennia officinalis), pandharichipi (Sonneratia alba), lumnitzera racemosa (Lumnitzera racemosa), huri, geva, phungi (Excoecaria agallocha), kajala, karti, sugandha (Aegiceras corniculatum), marandi, kateri (Acanthus ilicifolius), etc;

AND WHEREAS, the vast mudflats present in the Sanctuary which is located in a relatively undisturbed area in the Thane Creek, however need to be protected and preserved as it serves as foraging grounds of flamingos and other species of birds. It also encompasses mangrove areas, close to the edge of the Creek, which serve as roosting and nesting areas for many species of resident and migratory birds;

Draft Notification

AND WHEREAS, it is necessary to conserve and protect the area, by keeping the extent and boundaries of Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary, as specified in paragraph 1 as Eco-sensitive Zone from ecological, environmental and biodiversity point of view and to prohibit industries or class of industries and their operations and processes in the said Eco-sensitive Zone;

NOW, THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) and clauses (v) and (xiv) of sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 (29 of 1986) (hereafter in this notification referred to as the Environment Act) read with sub-rule (3) of rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the Central Government hereby notifies an area to an extent varying from 0 (zero) to 3.89 kilometres around the boundary of Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary, in Mumbai Suburban district in the State of Maharashtra as the Eco-sensitive Zone (hereafter in this notification referred to as the Eco-sensitive Zone) details of which are as under, namely: -

2. Extent and boundaries of Eco-sensitive Zone. – (1) The Eco-sensitive Zone shall be to an extent of 0 (zero) to 3.89 kilometres around the boundary of Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and the area of the Eco-sensitive Zone is 48.32 square kilometres. The justification of zero extent at few stretches of the Eco- sensitive Zone for Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary can be attributed to its location being at the intersection of the highly urbanized areas of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai and being close to another major city, namely Thane. The proposed Eco-sensitive Zone boundary extends to the limit of mangroves on the western side of the Sanctuary and the entire width of the Thane Creek and adjoining Navi Mumbai Mangrove area on the Eastern side (notified and un-notified). On the southern side, the boundary of the Sanctuary borders the Vashi Bridge and further south is the commercial part of the Thane Creek, which does not add any value to the Sanctuary. On the northern side, the Eco- sensitive Zone is limited to 2.2 kilometres and includes northern part of the Thane Creek and mangrove patches on the Government land.

(2) The boundary description of Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and its Eco-sensitive Zone is appended in Annexure-I.

(3) The maps of the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary demarcating Eco-sensitive Zone along with boundary details and latitudes and longitudes are appended as Annexure-IIA, Annexure-IIB and Annexure-IIC.

(4) List of geo-coordinates of the boundary of Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and Eco-sensitive Zone are given in Table A and Table B of Annexure III.

(5) The list of villages falling in the proposed Eco-sensitive Zone along with area statement, survey number and their geo co-ordinates at prominent points are appended as Table A and Table B of Annexure-IV.

2. Zonal Master Plan for Eco-sensitive Zone.- (1) The State Government shall, for the purposes of the Eco-sensitive Zone prepare a Zonal Master Plan within a period of two years from the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette, in consultation with local people and adhering to the stipulations given in this notification for approval of the competent authority in the State.

(2) The Zonal Master Plan for the Eco-sensitive Zone shall be prepared by the State Government in such manner as is specified in this notification and also in consonance with the relevant Central and State laws and the guidelines issued by the Central Government, if any.

(3) The Zonal Master Plan shall be prepared in consultation with the following Departments of the State Government, for integrating the ecological and environmental considerations into the said plan:-

  • (i) Environment;
  • (ii) Forest and Wildlife;
  • (iii) Urban Development;
  • (iv) Tourism;
  • (v) Municipal;
  • (vi) Revenue;
  • (vii) Agriculture;
  • (viii) Rural Development;
  • (ix) Irrigation and Flood Control;
  • (x) Panchayati Raj; and
  • (xi) Public Works Department; and
  • (xii) Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board.

(4) The Zonal Master Plan shall not impose any restriction on the approved existing land use, infrastructure and activities, unless so specified in this notification and the Zonal Master Plan shall factor in improvement of all infrastructure and activities to be more efficient and eco-friendly.

(5) The Zonal Master Plan shall provide for restoration of denuded areas, conservation of existing water bodies, management of catchment areas, watershed management, groundwater management, soil and moisture conservation, needs of local community and such other aspects of the ecology and environment that need attention.

(6) The Zonal Master Plan shall demarcate all the existing worshipping places, villages and urban settlements, types and kinds of forests, agricultural areas, fertile lands, green area, such as, parks and like places, horticultural areas, orchards, lakes and other water bodies with supporting maps giving details of existing and proposed land use features.

(7) The Zonal Master Plan shall regulate development in Eco-sensitive Zone and adhere to prohibited and regulated activities listed in the Table in paragraph 4 and also ensure and promote eco-friendly development for security of local communities’ livelihood.

(8) The Zonal Master Plan shall be co-terminus with the Regional Development Plan.

(9) The Zonal Master Plan so approved shall be the reference document for the Monitoring Committee constituted for the purpose of this notification, for carrying out its functions of monitoring in accordance with the provisions of this notification.

3. Measures to be taken by the State Government. - The State Government shall take the following measures for giving effect to the provisions of this notification, namely: -

(1) Land use.– (a) Forests, horticulture areas, agricultural areas, parks and open spaces earmarked for recreational purposes in the Eco-sensitive Zone shall not be used or converted into areas for commercial or residential or industrial activities:

Provided that the conversion of agricultural and other lands, for the purpose other than that specified at part (a) above, within the Eco-sensitive Zone may be permitted on the recommendation of the Monitoring Committee, and with the prior approval of the competent authority under Regional Town Planning Act and other rules and regulations of Central Government or State Government as applicable and vide provisions of this Notification, to meet the residential needs of the local residents and for activities such as:-

  • (i) widening and strengthening of existing roads and construction of new roads;
  • (ii) construction and renovation of infrastructure and civic amenities;
  • (iii) small scale industries not causing pollution;
  • (iv) cottage industries including village industries; convenience stores and local amenities supporting eco-tourism including home stay; and
  • (v) promoted activities given under paragraph 4:

Provided further that no use of tribal land shall be permitted for commercial and industrial development activities without the prior approval of the competent authority under Regional Town Planning Act and other rules and regulations of the State Government and without compliance of the provisions of article 244 of the Constitution or the law for the time being in force, including the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (2 of 2007):

Provided also that any error appearing in the land records within the Eco-sensitive Zone shall be corrected by the State Government, after obtaining the views of Monitoring Committee, once in each case and the correction of said error shall be intimated to the Central Government in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change:

Provided also that the correction of error shall not include change of land use in any case except as provided under this sub-paragraph.

(b) efforts shall be made to reforest the unused or unproductive agricultural areas with afforestation and habitat restoration activities.

(2) Natural water bodies.- The catchment areas of all natural springs shall be identified and plans for their conservation and rejuvenation shall be incorporated in the Zonal Master Plan and the guidelines shall be drawn up by the State Government in such a manner as to prohibit development activities at or near these areas which are detrimental to such areas.

(3) Tourism or Eco-tourism.- (a) All new eco-tourism activities or expansion of existing tourism activities within the Eco-sensitive Zone shall be as per the Tourism Master Plan for the Eco- sensitive Zone;

(b) the  Eco-Tourism  Master  Plan  shall  be  prepared  by  the  State  Department  of  Tourism  in consultation with the State Departments of Environment and Forests;

(c) the Tourism Master Plan shall form a component of the Zonal Master Plan;

(d) the Tourism Master Plan shall be drawn based on the carrying capacity study of the Eco- sensitive Zone;

(e) the activities of eco-tourism shall be regulated as under, namely:-

(i) new construction of hotels and resorts shall not be allowed within one kilometre from the boundary of the protected area or upto the extent of the Eco-sensitive Zone whichever is nearer:

Provided that beyond the distance of one kilometre from the boundary of the protected area till the extent of the Eco-sensitive Zone, the establishment of new hotels and resorts shall be allowed only in pre-defined and designated areas for eco-tourism facilities as per Tourism Master Plan;

(ii) all new tourism activities or expansion of existing tourism activities within the Eco- sensitive Zone shall be in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central Government in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the eco- tourism guidelines issued by National Tiger Conservation Authority (as amended from time to time) with emphasis on eco-tourism, eco-education and eco-development;

(iii) until the Zonal Master Plan is approved, development for tourism and expansion  of existing tourism activities shall be permitted by the concerned regulatory authorities based on the actual site specific scrutiny and recommendation of the Monitoring Committee and no new hotel, resort or commercial establishment construction shall be permitted within Eco-sensitive Zone area.

(4) Natural heritage.- All sites of valuable natural heritage in the Eco-sensitive Zone, such as the gene pool reserve areas, rock formations, waterfalls, springs, gorges, groves, caves, points, walks, rides, cliffs, etc. shall be identified and a heritage conservation plan shall be drawn up for their preservation and conservation as a part of the Zonal Mas ....................... Click here for read more.

Source: http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2021/226812.pdf

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