Authorities attempt to 'water down' criticism for Mumbai Metro III

After activists alleged that MMRC planted saplings at the Metro site in Aarey Colony as a publicity stunt and then let them wilt, the authorities are now ensuring that the trees are watered regularly

Taking note of mid-day’s report about saplings that were wilting after they had been placed at the proposed Metro yard site in Aarey Colony by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), the authorities have ensured that the young trees are watered regularly to keep them healthy.

Tanks have been placed at the Metro site in Aarey Colony so that the saplings can be watered regularly
Tanks have been placed at the Metro site in Aarey Colony so that the saplings can be watered regularly

This paper had reported earlier that the MMRC had planted a few saplings at the Metro site in an effort to appear pro-environment. However, experts alleged that this was merely a gimmick and that the authorities didn’t really care about trees or the environment (‘MMRC planted saplings at Aarey for a publicity stunt’, mid-day, March 9).

 mid-day’s report on March 9
mid-day’s report on March 9

They said that the trees would probably not survive as they had been planted too close together. Activists also pointed out that other saplings, which had been left at the site to be planted later, were already wilting. The Metro authorities are now attempting to keep their heads above water and avoid further controversy, as this reporter saw during a visit to the spot recently.

Water tanks had been kept there and were being used to water the saplings. “The MMRC and MMRDA have already had to face a lot of criticism because of the plan to cut 2,298 trees to construct the car depot at Aarey Milk Colony, and we don’t want any more negative publicity. So, the trees will be taken care of properly,” said sources within the MMRDA.

A guard at the site, requesting anonymity, said, “The authorities were not happy with the way in which the saplings were dying, and, so, a water tanker is called on alternate days and the trees are watered.”

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