BMC builds wall of Oshiwars river inside Aarey colont, despite NGT warning

Apr 10, 2018, 12:01 IST | A Correspondent

Despite NGT's order, BMC built retaining wall of Oshiwara river inside Aarey Colony, alleges environmentalist; warns this would destroy the river as well as forest patch

One of the pictures of the construction work taken by Stalin D
One of the pictures of the construction work taken by Stalin D

While the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked for maintenance of a status quo for construction inside Aarey Milk Colony, environmentalist Stalin D has alleged that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is illegally constructing the retaining wall of Oshiwara river, which passes through the colony, in the area. He said this would destroy the river as well as the forest patch surrounding it.

A satellite image of the Oshiwara river (orange lines) running through the Aarey Milk Colony
A satellite image of the Oshiwara river (orange lines) running through the Aarey Milk Colony

Stalin has now written a letter to the BMC, Maharashtra Pollution Control Bureau (MPCB), the suburban district collector, Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS) and the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA). As proof, the environmentalist has also clicked pictures of the ongoing work along with satellite imagery.

'Completely wrong'
Speaking to mid-day, Stalin said, "We are shocked to see massive walls being built on both sides of a river inside a forest. The site is close to the Goregaon exit of the Aarey colony. This is nothing but an attempt to dry up the forest and kill the trees in it. Even the riverbed is being filled up with mud and rubble. This is completely wrong and will kill the ecology of the region. "What is the purpose of a wall on a river inside a forest if not to create land for real estate construction? With the extensive reclamation and concretising of riversides and bottom, severe environmental damage is bound to happen."

'Respect status quo'
"There is a status quo order of the National Green Tribunal for all areas of Aarey. This work is in complete violation of the order. Even in the absence of any order, it cannot be called a permissible activity. We have requested the authorities concerned to immediately stop this destructive work, because if it is not stopped, it will turn our forests into dry lands, and rivers into sewage drains," warned Stalin. Aarey's Chief Executive Officer Nathu Rathod remained unavailable for comment. However, a BMC official said, "We have all the necessary permissions in place to carry out the work of the retaining wall to prevent flooding during monsoon."

Also read: Mumbai: Officials suspect miscreants behind forest fires in Sanjay Gandhi National Park

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