Livid with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and state government over the fact that there was no mention of adivasi padas (tribal hamlets) in the newly-proposed Development Plan (DP), adivasis from 222 city padas plan to march in protest from Aarey Milk Colony to Mantralaya on April 20. More than 5,000 adivasis will also protest against the government’s decisions regarding Aarey Milk Colony, “the last surviving green lungs of Mumbai”.
The adivasis at Aarey Milk Colony will protest the destruction of the “last green lungs of Mumbai”
“Our main demand is that, as per the government survey, the 222 adivasi padas be included in the newly- proposed Development Plan (DP)and an official letter should be sent to us. There are 27 padas at Aarey Milk colony alone, and our community has been staying in them since over 100 years, yet we lack basic facilities,” said Ashok Khandve, member of Shramik Mukti Sangh, an organisation of tribals from the 27 padas at Aarey Milk Colony. The sangh will participate in the protest, too.
Tribal Chandu Jadhav, from Aarey Milk Colony added that the community feels it is unfair to have been left out of the DP. “Even illegal slums and encroachments in Mumbai get legal water, electricity connections and public toilets - why have some of our padas in Aarey Milk Colony not got their right?
The community will take up the issue of the proposed Metro 3 car shed at AMC which they claim will impact the AMC’s biodiversity as it will require the felling of 2298 trees. “We worship nature and Waghoba (tiger god). The AMC is known for its rich biodiversity and the leopards, other animals and birds will be affected by these ‘development’ plans. We want AMC to be declared a No Development Zone,” said Ankush Bhoir a tribal an member of Shramik Mukti Sangh.