Mumbai: Students help to make cleaner, greener Aarey

Students from the NSS and NCC join hands with the Aarey Milk Colony CEO to remove litter from Aarey Colony and plant more trees; he also intends to clear encroachments and plant trees there

In a bid to protect the forested patches in Aarey Milk Colony and make them cleaner and greener, students from the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Service Scheme (NSS) have teamed up with the local authorities to clear litter and plant saplings in the area.

Last week, 300 students spent five days in Aarey, cleaning up litter and planting saplings in the forested patches; Aarey Colony CEO Gajanan Raut (left)
Last week, 300 students spent five days in Aarey, cleaning up litter and planting saplings in the forested patches; Aarey Colony CEO Gajanan Raut (left)

Last week, 300 students spent five days in Aarey for this purpose, while a second round will be undertaken by another batch of 350 students during the coming weekend. “I know that it will not be an easy task to make the entire area plastic-and litter-free, but our main aim is to at least protect the forested patches and the rich biodiversity that Aarey has.

With the help of the students from various parts of the state, we are going to clear as much litter as we can,” said Gajanan Raut, who took up office as Aarey’s CEO on March 31. Since then, he has issued instructions to his staff to keep an eye out for illegal axing of trees or encroachments in the area, so that immediate action can be taken.

Raut also hopes to generate more support and awareness for the local biodiversity by organising environmental festivals that will highlight the importance of Aarey and its flora and fauna. Earlier, the CEO’s office had carried out a demolition drive in May, flattening illegal shanties near Durgapada and Gautam Nagar (‘Illegal shanties at Aarey Colony demolished’, mid-day, May 15).

Once the monsoon ends, the authorities will once again clear out squatters and plant trees there to prevent future encroachment. “I have already made it very clear to my staff that they should see to it that no new encroachment should come up.

After monsoon, a massive demolition drive against encroachment will begin, and trees will be planted at the locations where the illegal structures are cleared. Our security team has also been instructed to patrol in the area to prevent further illegal construction,” Raut told mid-day.

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