Conservation group's report will be studied, says Aarey committee
Conservation activists says they should be called for a discussion with the committee so that they can put forward their points in details.
Just a day after the Aarey Conservation Group submitted a detailed report highlighting the area's biodiversity along with some mid-day reports on it being an important leopard territory, to Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), Manoj Saunik, the committee appointed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to look for alternative sites for the Metro III car depot accepted it and said the document would be studied before preparing a final report.
Speaking to mid-day, Saunik, who also heads the committee, said, "We received a report from the Aarey Conservation Group on Tuesday. It will be studied. We have received reports from at least three NGOs till date and the committee has considered all of them."
Meanwhile, the Aarey Conservation Group members – Zoru Bhathena, Amrita Bhattacharya and Priya Mishra – claimed that though they were called for a meeting of the committee with Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) officials at the Mantralaya on Wednesday, they were not allowed to attend it.
Conservation group member, Amrita Bhattacharya, said, "I fail to understand if we were not supposed to attend the meeting why were we called. We citizens want to share our views and suggestions with the committee."
Activist Zoru Bhathena said, "We appreciate the fact that the committee will consider the report submitted by the Aarey Conservation Group and NGO Vanashakti but we should be called for an interaction so that we can put forward our points."
Bhattacharya said, "In the report we have tried to highlight all important ecological aspects of Aarey, threats to the area and alternative sites for the Metro III car shed. We have also attached clippings of some stories published by mid-day."
However, Saunik said, "The committee had not invited anyone apart from MMRC for the meeting and so it's wrong of some people to claim that they were told to come and then not allowed to be part of the discussion. It was a confidential meeting."
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