A biometric reading by the collector’s office proposes to control encroachments and illegal residents in the eco-sensitive zone
With the Aarey Milk Colony proposed as an eco-sensitive zone by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the collector's office does not want more slums to mushroom in the green belt. For his, a survey of ‘eligible slum-dwellers’ has been initiated, and for the first time, biometric data will be collected from legal residents. Those eligible will be rehabilitated, while others will have their homes demolished. It is hoped that this will help save the last surviving green lungs of Mumbai.
A survey will be conducted and the biometrics of tribal residents like this family will be recorded
Aarey Milk Colony is spread across 3,062 acres and there are 27-odd padas (villages), where 2,500 to 3,000 villagers of the Adivasi Warli community share space with an increasing number of slum-dwellers, who have encroached on forestland. There are more than 20 slums inside Aarey with more than 50,000 residents. The National Green Tribunal has already asked the BMC to not issue any NOC for construction in Aarey Colony and it had also asked Aarey CEO office to submit the details about the number of slums in Aarey.
The survey was expected to start on February 18 but it could not take off due to lack of staff. It is now scheduled to begin next week. The authorities also feel that biometric data will help in differentiating the eligible and non-eligible slum-dwellers, and in future, action against encroachers would become easier.