As construction for a news trans harbour link starts, the wetlands may no longer be a safe haven for our winged friends.

Mumbaikars have had the privilege to view migratory birds through the annually organized Flamingo Festival since 10 years. The initiative was a joint venture between the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and the Mumbai Port Trust but all this may be coming to an end. The 2016 chapter of the Flamingo festival is scheduled to be held on March 5 and may be the last time visitors get to avail of this event and see the 15,000 flamingos and other migratory birds at the Sewri-Mahul wetlands.

Though the wetlands have been identified as an important bird and bio-diversity area (it hosts one of the biggest congregation of water birds in western India), work on a 22-km long ​Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) from Sewri to Uran is scheduled to commence later this year. This is likely to scare away the birds due to noise pollution and movement of construction equipment.


(Courtesy : Mid-Day)


(Courtesy :

In a Press Release, the BNHS said, “In the medium term, it could also lead to changes in their migration preferences. Thus this year’s Flamingo Festival offers a unique and possibly the last chance to view the flamingos in all their beauty spread out on the mudflats with the backdrop of lush mangroves.” The Centre has dismissed the appeals of the BNHS to realign the route but has rather chosen to accept other mitigation measures suggested by the nature conservation research organisation.

This is certainly sad and alarming news but that shouldn’t stop everyone from enjoying the festival as this could be a once in a lifetime experience. Entry to the festival is free with bus services provided from Sewri railway station to the Sewri jetty between 12 noon to 5 pm. Various online competitions like painting, slogan writing, poetry writing, photography have also been organized a week before the festival.