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BMC to build five animal overpasses, replant 1,000 trees

The civic body has decided to act on the suggestions made by mid-day protect the biodiversity of Aarey colony while widening a stretch of the Link Road

Taking serious note of the report published in mid-day (Here’s what can protect biodiversity at Aarey, August 23) on solutions to neutralise the negative impact of the widening of a particular stretch part of the proposed widening of the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (GMLR) of the Aarey Milk Colony road would adversely affect the wildlife and biodiversity it sustains, the BMC has decided to construct about five animal overpasses. Moreover, the 1,000 tress that were supposed to face the axe would now be replanted within the colony.

Aarey Colony Road. Pic/Kaushik Thanekar
Aarey Colony Road. Pic/Kaushik Thanekar

The civic body is now in the process of making a detailed project report (DPR) for GMLR, which will be completed in the next two months. Additional Municipal Commissioner S V R Shrinivas said, “From Sakivihar to LBS Road, about 7-km-long stretch will be elevated. At Marol, we will build an elevated junction.

mid-day front page report on August 23 that prompted the BMC to change its plans
mid-day front page report on August 23 that prompted the BMC to change its plans

1,000 trees were supposed to be axed, but we have now decided to replant them within the colony. We will also build overpasses for the animals. Both sides of the GMLR will be fenced, so that animals are not harmed. Similar overpasses have been made in Holland.”

Wildlife heaven

>> Spread across 12 sq km and located next to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the Aarey Milk Colony is teeming with wildlife. A study on the biodiversity in the colony by ecologists Rajesh Sanap and Zeeshan Mirza found that the colony is home to 76 species of birds, 86 species of butterflies, 13 species of amphibians, 38 different types of reptiles, 19 spider species and 34 different types of wild flowers.

>> In the Aarey Biodiversity report, which was also submitted to the state government, they stated that the colony also has a wide variety of mammals including leopards, rusty spotted cat, jungle cat, civets, chital, sambar and barking deer.

>> A survey conducted by the Mumbaikars for Sanjay Gandhi National Park initiative found that there are 5-6 leopards in Aarey Milk Colony.

Master plan for roads
The civic body launched a book called ‘Master plan for roads’ at the BMC headquarters yesterday, wherein it was mentioned that the corporation would be spending R7,500 crore to improve quality, maintenance, reconstruction and repairing of the city roads.

“In future we will try to connect Eastern Express Highway with the elevated Marol junction so that it benefits people travelling towards the Western Express Highway from the eastern side,” said Mayor Sunil Prabhu (in pic), who was present at the launch.

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