Mangroves, dubbed as the natural protector of the coastlines as they act as natural barrier against floods and natural disaster such as tsunami, decrease soil erosion and promote diverse aquatic life will now see ISRO playing a pivotal role in the conservation of the mangrove forests.
According to news reports, the Maharashtra government has formed a pact with ISRO to preserve and protect mangrove forests around the Konkan coastline. This move will allow government to take swift and necessary action, owing to satellite images of destruction obtained from ISRO’s sophisticated real-time satellite imagery systems.
The pact marks the first venture for ISRO and Maharashtra, where ISRO will capture, track, and record the status of mangroves growing in Mumbai, and those along the parts of Konkan coastline.
The budget for the project is pegged at INR 40 lakh. As a part of the deal, state forest departments will leverage ISRO’s open source software to track the mangroves, and the space agency will furnish real-time satellite maps for the same cause.
Over the last few years, Maharashtra has been wrecked by floods and 2005 floods claimed 1,00 lives. Studies show mangroves being vital to a peninsular city such as Mumbai, and most of the recent flooding have been linked with depleting mangrove cover in the region. One of the glaring examples of concretization is Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla complex, where mangrove forests were completely denuded to make way for commercial space.
The destruction of these mangroves was banned by Bombay High court in 2005, however illegal construction still continues at large. There are over 15,000 hectares of mangroves in Maharashtra and 5,771 hectares is what makes up current Mumbai.