Mumbai: 5-km human chain to save Aarey forest and a city
Hundreds of Mumbaikars braved the rain to protest the BMC's decision to chop over 2,646 trees in Aarey forest; another human chain planned today
Hundreds of concerned Mumbaikars braved the rain on Sunday to form a 5km-long human chain, to protest against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) approval to remove 2,646 trees for the Metro III car shed in Aarey Colony. They have planned another human chain today.
While the world focuses on the fires in the Amazon, local environment warriors from all strata of society, including college and school-going students and actors came together to save the lungs of Mumbai. Some came with umbrellas while others wore raincoats, determined to protest despite the rain. They all shouted the slogan, "Save Aarey" and held placards about it.
They formed the human chain outside the barricade of the proposed metro car shed that started from Aarey Picnic Point and continued for 5 km till Goregaon East. Nirali Mehta, who was holding a placard, 'Cut the greed, not the green,' said, "Aarey Colony is the lungs of Mumbai. If you destroy it you will suffocate the city. You need to provide the city with enough oxygen to breathe."
Members of the Tree Authority which comes under the BMC, were criticised for supporting the proposal to fell over 2,646 trees in Aarey, for the much-debated Metro car shed project. The TA permitted Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to cut 2,185 trees from Aarey Colony and translocate 461 others to make way for the construction.
"We have been fighting against this for years now. In the name of development, you can't kill trees. This is for the future of the world...we are killing it," said Nimish Malde, another protester. Another human chain around the proposed car shed site is planned for Monday morning. "They declared the order just before the festival season thinking we would be busy with the celebration and won't protest, but we will prove them wrong," said Indraneel Hazra, another protester.
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