mid-day editorial: Keep citizens in the loop on public projects

Published: Dec 15, 2016, 08:05 IST | mid-day correspondent

Citizens, NGOs and activists beat the Monday morning blues earlier this week with a mission and vision, streaming into Aarey’s picnic area, to protest the proposed Metro shed at Aarey

Citizens, NGOs and activists beat the Monday morning blues earlier this week with a mission and vision, streaming into Aarey’s picnic area, to protest the proposed Metro shed at Aarey.

The Save Aarey movement is gathering steam with activists redoubling efforts and going all out to save the land that will probably be used for the Metro car shed. The protests will continue, taking various avatars including the still popular Chipko style, children holding placards with slogans, as those working with the movement have vowed to save Aarey at any cost.

Mumbai citizens are being urged to contribute their time and effort to see that the land is saved. Yet, it is time to go beyond Aarey. This is not about one isolated spot and a Metro car shed coming up there. This is about more transparency from the Metro authorities on its plans for the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor.

Already there are boards all over the western part of the city earmarked for the Metro. Trees have been marked out for cutting. The Metro authorities have assured that trees will be replanted. But the important question is where will they be replanted? When will this happen?

An open ground and a small park has been boarded up at Prabhadevi. Will this park be taken over completely? There needs to be more transparency, when it comes to what sacrifices this will entail. They must be open to discussion with those who believe in upping infrastructure in the city, but are equally passionate about preserving and safeguarding the little green that we have.

One understands that objections will pile up and delay results, but obfuscation of facts will only lead to frustration and bitterness, and perhaps even more anger against the project. Let this be a people’s project in every sense of the word.

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