The Maharashtra government had constructed a 5.6 km temporary bridge to facilitate the construction of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link but has now decided to retain the bridge permanently as a deck to allow visitors to see migratory birds and flamingos that frequent the area. The temporary bridge had been constructed to facilitate the smooth movement of machinery and men for continuing the work on the harbour link.
Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioner S V R Srinivas was quoted as saying that demolition of the temporary bridge would have cost the government a huge sum of money and it has decided to retain it as it can serve as a good platform for watching flamingos. Sources in the MMRDA told the Indian Express that the directive to retain the temporary access bridge had come from Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray.
The place where the temporary bridge has been constructed is in the vicinity of the Sewri mudflats which is regularly frequented by two species of flamingo namely lesser flamingo and greater flamingo. Both the species of flamingo frequent the wetlands of Mumbai city during the period between November and May.
Neenu Somraj, who is the Deputy Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Protection Cell told the Indian Express that apart from flamingos a lot of other species of birds frequent the area. Somraj also said that it has also been observed that the construction of the Trans Harbour Link has not disturbed the movement of flamingos. Commending the government for its move to retain the bridge, Environmentalist D Stalin of NGO Vanashakti told the Indian Express that the decision will allow nature lovers to connect with the fauna.