Hand over Aarey to forest department, says conservation group

Updated: Dec 04, 2019, 07:49 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Aarey Conservation Group to hand 10-point demand charter to Chief Minister

Trees at the Metro car shed side had been quickly chopped down in Aarey in October this year. File pic
Trees at the Metro car shed side had been quickly chopped down in Aarey in October this year. File pic

Following Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's order on a temporary stay on carrying out any work on the Metro car depot land inside Aarey Milk Colony and withdrawing cases registered against the protesters, the Aarey Conservation Group is all set write to the CM with their set of demands with regard to Aarey. The group will send a 10-point charter of demands including preparation of a vision plan for Aarey as a major landmark of Mumbai and handing Aarey over to Maharashtra Forest Department.

The group will also appeal to the CM that the Adivasi residents there are an important and essential part of Aarey and they should be recognised. "We have a lot of expectations from the current CM since he is an environment and wildlife lover and will, therefore, be sending him a charter of demands and are hopeful that he will make a positive decision," a member of ACG said.

Other proposed projects like the Metro Bhavan, Regional Transport office, Slum Rehabilitation Area and zoo should be withdrawn too, activists have demanded.
"Aarey has already lost more than one-third of its area over the years and conservation of its remaining open spaces and natural landscape is an absolute necessity," said another ACG member.

There is also the demand for an immediate site inspection of the Metro car shed to assess the existing situation with respect to the number
of trees cut.

The members also feel that a biodiversity study of the flora and fauna found in Aarey must be undertaken by independent experts along with government officials. A sewage and waste treatment plant to collect and treat animal and plant waste generated from within Aarey also must be installed.

"We will also be requesting the CM to ask concerned authorities to carry out cleaning and maintenance of the three lakes in Aarey and remove concrete walls along the sides of the Mithi and 

Oshiwara rivers," another member added.

"The slum areas in Aarey also need to be mapped with their GPS coordinates to prevent further expansion at the cost of open space in Aarey," he said.

29
No. of Aarey protesters against whom cases were registered

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