Greens to take 'Save Aarey' right to Japan funder's door
Environmentalists prepare letters and proof, including mid-day report, highlighting the negative impact of car depot on forest, for submission at JICA's Tokyo office
Environmentalists fighting to save the Aarey forest from the proposed Metro III car depot have done their homework and are all set to take it to the international funding agency, including various proofs and a mid-day report.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is funding the project and is allegedly yet to take note of activists' claims of the negative impact of the car depot - felling of over 2,200 trees - on the area's biodiversity. Hence, one of the activists is going to the JICA office in Tokyo to deliver photocopies of the proofs, including pictures, newspaper articles and letters. Cassendra Nazrath from the WWH Trust and the Aarey Conservation Group said, "JICA, which is funding Metro III by giving a loan to MMRCL, is very pro-environment. So we want to bring it to their notice: how the mega project is going to have a negative impact on the biodiversity of Aarey Milk Colony, one of the last surviving green lungs of Mumbai."
Indians settled in Japan lend their support to the Save Aarey campaign
"One of our wildlife-loving friends is going to Japan for some work, and so, we have prepared a letter along with newspaper articles pertaining to Aarey, including the recent mid-day one about a leopard resting on a rock close to the car depot site. Our other members, too, have written and attached their letters. Our friend will submit everything at the JICA office."
The activists are also reaching out to Mumbaikars who want the Metro as well as the forest. Over the past many months, the Save Aarey campaign has been gathering huge support from not just those in India, but also Mumbaikars settled abroad. On Wednesday, Indians in Japan pledged their support to the cause by holding up placards. Photos of the same were uploaded on social media.
On October 24, mid-day, in its front-page story 'Clear proof that Metro III carshed is leopard's home', printed exclusive photographs showing an adult leopard resting on a rock right next to the proposed Metro yard in Aarey Colony, a place MMRCL officials stubbornly refuse to accept as wildlife area.
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