Save Aarey Milk Colony group fights MMRDA's plans to axe 2,298 trees

The fate of the trees will be decided at a hearing tomorrow, held by the BMC

The Save Aarey Milk Colony group organised a ‘hug the tree’ initiative on Saturday in the colony, which saw the participation of more than 40 school students.

Students hug trees as part of Save Aarey campaign. Pic/Shadab Khan
Students hug trees as part of Save Aarey campaign. Pic/Shadab Khan

The children will also write to the concerned authorities, urging them to not cut down 2,298 trees to pave way for the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ (CBS) Metro Line 3 car depot at Aarey Milk Colony (AMC). The fate of the trees will be decided tomorrow, as a hearing on the matter will be held by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Tree Authority.

Speaking to sunday mid-day, Manish Sethi, a member of the Save Aarey Milk Colony group, said, “A few days ago, we met the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioner UPS Madan and suggested that the authority try and shift the car depot to plots of open grasslands where there are hardly any trees, instead of cutting down 2,298 trees for the Metro Line 3 car depot at Aarey Colony.

We will present our point at the hearing.” Another member, Manish Gadia, said, “We will not only try to educate school students about the biodiversity of Aarey, but also on the repercussions of doing away with the Colony.”

The other side
One suggestion members put forth was to construct the car depot on the land in Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). However, according to sources at the MMRDA, changing the location now seems difficult as work on the car depot has already begun at the AMC.

Confirming the same, an MMRDA official, on condition of anonymity, added, “Shifting the car depot to MbPT will require various approvals and this may take months or even years. We don’t want it to get delayed and so we have requested the group to think practically,” he said.

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