Mumbai: Activists write to Narendra Modi to protect Aarey land

Published: Sep 03, 2019, 18:25 IST | Arita Sarkar |

The letter has included relevant observations in the Environmental Impact Assessment implying that the decision to set up a Metro Car Shed in Aarey would result in a loss of native trees

This picture has been used for representational purposes only
This picture has been used for representational purposes only

Protesting against using land at Aarey Milk Colony for the Metro Car Shed, members of the Watchdog Foundation have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting for a personal hearing in the matter. The group's efforts are part of the growing agitation against the Tree Authority's recent decision of allowing 2702 trees at Aarey Colony.

The letter has included relevant observations in the Environmental Impact Assessment implying that the decision to set up a Metro Car Shed in Aarey would result in a loss of native trees that will affect the ecological system in the area. Activists Godfrey Pimenta and Nicholas Almeida have also referred to the Development Plan that has changed the reservation of the area and Aarey land may now get utilized for construction as a permissible activity.

"As such Aarey has all the traits and attributes which qualifies it to be preserved as reserved/protected forest and at no cost any further development should be allowed which will create an imbalance in the present delicate ecosystem," said the letter.

Pimenta and Almeida also pointed out that MMRCL has failed to successfully transplant trees at Aarey or other locations. "The already existing tree cover in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Aarey Milk Colony and mangroves are under severe threat from indiscriminate development including Metro Car Shed, Cable Car Project, Rail Corridor, East West road connectivity through SGNP," stated the letter. Over the past week, various groups of citizens, as well as several celebrities, have been protesting against the cutting of 2702 trees in Aarey Colony to make way for the Metro 3 car shed.

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