A seven-km undersea tunnel will be constructed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor project in a bid to save about 12 hectares of mangrove forests in Maharashtra’s Thane creek.
About Thane Creek:
- It is an inlet along the shoreline of the Arabian Sea that isolates the city of Mumbai from the Indian mainland.
- The east bank lies in the Thane and Navi Mumbai districts, while the west bank is in the Greater Mumbai district, Maharashtra.
- It is Asia's largest creek, with a length of 26 km.
- Thane Creek is fed by numerous freshwater sources (of which Ulhas river is the largest), making the water brackish.
- The creek is covered with mangroves on both sides.
- Thane Creek is a very important wintering ground for waterbirds. It supports over 1,00,000 birds during winter, including the iconic flamingos.
- A major part of the creek has been declared a bird sanctuary called Thane Creek Flamingo Bird Sanctuary (TCFS).
Thane Creek Flamingo Bird Sanctuary (TCFS):
- TCFS also referred to as the Airoli Flamingo Sanctuary, is the first flamingo sanctuary in India located along the western bank of the Thane creek.
- ·It encompasses more than 1600 hectares of mudflats, mangroves, and water bodies.
- The area was declared a flamingo sanctuary in 2015 and is home to substantial bird life – both residential and migratory.
- TCFS was declared a Ramsar site by the International Wetlands Convention in 2022.
- Flora: Avicennia marina, Rhizophora mucronata, Acanthus ilicifolius, Aleuropus lagopoides, Sesuvium protulacastrumetc.
- Fauna: Over 205 species of birds have been reported from this area, including Lesser Flamingo, Greater Flamingo, Asian Openbill, White Stork, Pied Avocet, Eastern Golden Plover, etc.
Q1) What is a creek?
A creek is a small river or a rivulet. Creeks have all the characteristics that rivers possess with a few differences between the two. A slender channel flanked by islands may also be called a creek. A creek does not usually drift out into a new channel or form a new branch or even have tributaries.