Development around the lakes of Mumbai for sustaining the biodiversity and ecological status of the environs

Mumbai, Maharashtra
Funded by – Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) Environmental Improvement Society.
Carried out under – Design Cell, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies

The Vihar and Powai lakes and their immediate surroundings within the city of Mumbai constitute the project study area. This region which is about 50 sq. km. in size forms the vital lungs of suburban Mumbai and is an ecosystem of considerable intricacy and value to the city. The lakes and their peripheries are under severe threat today due to rapid haphazard development, relaxation of developmental restrictions in no-development zones, increasing population density and improper land use patterns. The pressure of all these factors has already caused catastrophic depletion of the environment, and if allowed to continue will surely wipe out this region in entirety, along with its invaluable eco-reserves, scenic beauty and its paramount importance as a carbon and a source for water supply for the city of Mumbai.

The study of this stressed environment has been undertaken to identify, analyze and investigate into the factors which have led to the deterioration of the lake surrounds and are further threatening their very existence.The study justifies the need for an overall command centre to be formulated for the lake region. The legislative requirements have been deliberated and a legal framework for the Planning policy has been developed on the basis of the assessment of the various aspects of the lake region. The study has established the baseline conditions in terms of conserving the environmental aspects and has identified mitigation measures, which can be incorporated into the scheme to reduce the impact on the lake ecology.