Mumbai: Activists demand wildlife corridors, more speed breakers inside Aarey

In order to ensure that wildlife supported by Aarey Milk Colony does not end up as roadkill, members of the Save Aarey Milk Colony (AMC) group met Aarey’s CEO and Public Works Department (PWD) officials on Friday and put forth a proposal to construct wildlife crossing zones and install additional speed breakers in the area.

The group wrote to the BMC and Aarey management, requesting permission to install hoardings for an anti-litter drive and to inform the visitors about the colony’s biodiversity. These hoardings will be installed at prominent locations such as the entrance of the colony, Lotus lake and VIP guesthouse, among others. “We want people coming to Aarey to know about its rich biodiversity. The work of preparing the biodiversity hoardings is already underway,” said Manish Gadia, from Save AMC group.

In August 2014, mid-day had highlighted the importance of constructing wildlife corridors inside the colony, as the BMC was planning to widen the road for the construction of the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (GMLR) (‘Here’s what can protect biodiversity at Aarey’). After the project received flak from citizens, the civic body decided to build an elevated road instead.

Expertspeak
Wildlife expert and photographer, Nayan Khanolkar said, “To prevent animals such as leopards from getting knocked down by vehicles, wildlife crossing zones are required inside the colony. Such crossings will save the animals from an untimely death.”

Krishna Tiwari from Forest and Wildlife Conservation Centre said, “Besides creating wildlife crossings, authorities must also install reflective signboards warning the motorists to slow down while passing through a crossing zone. Also, installation of speed breakers at accident prone locations on the Thane-Ghodbunder Road and Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-way near the forested patch is a must.”

Officialspeak
“As per the Save AMC members’ request, we will be installing speed breakers at important locations inside Aarey. Regarding the construction of underpasses, the decision will be taken after discussing the issue with the forest department and civic officials,” said a PWD official.

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