On Sunday, more than 700 people, including members of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Save Aarey Milk Colony, SPROUTS Environmental Trust, NGO Vanashakti, Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) and local tribal groups participated in a silent protest march against the Metro car depot that is proposed to come up in Aarey Milk Colony.
Members of Aam Aadmi Party and environmental groups carried out a protest on Sunday to pressurise authorities to shift the Metro car depot site from Aarey Milk Colony. Pics/Sameer Markande
The march started at 5.45 pm from the Goregaon-side of Western Express Highway, towards the proposed car depot site near Picnic Point in the colony. Members of the AAP said they are planning to file a public interest litigation (PIL) in which they will submit details about the biodiversity of the area, including the flora and fauna found here.
Celebrities like Javed Jaffery, Raghu Ram, AAP leaders Anjali Damania, Mayank Gandhi and Mona Ambegaonkar also participated in the march. Speaking to mid-day, Rushil Bhat, a participant in the march, said, “We are not against development. We are only against the destruction of green cover to construct a car depot for Metro line-3.
We believe that other political parties, NGOs and citizens should also come forward to help us build pressure on the government and compel them to shift the location of the depot.” Hundreds of protesters were seen carrying torches along with banners and posters, appealing to authorities to shift the car depot. One could see kids, along with their parents, as well as senior citizens trudging close to 2-3 km for the cause.
During the march, AAP workers were seen distributing pamphlets to people and appealing to motorists on their way from the colony to take some time out and protest with them. Ambegaonkar said, “We only demand the protection of Aarey Milk Colony and its biodiversity. We will also be filing a PIL in the matter. Our only demand is to shift the car depot to some other location.”
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Sources from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) told mid-day that party chief Raj Thackeray is planning to visit the depot site soon, and also interact with members of the Save Aarey Milk Colony and other NGOs supporting the cause.
With the overwhelming response to the march, police personnel were deployed at the car depot site, where participants reached at around 8.30 pm. Next Sunday, the group is planning to organise a cycle tour where cyclists from across the city will gather at Aarey to cycle from Western Express Highway till the depot site.