Mumbai: City-based NGO shares report with Government panel; seeks intervention to Save Aarey Forest

Published: Dec 13, 2019, 21:08 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

The NGO has written to the Panel members annexing a 32-page report covering four important aspects with regards to the Aarey and Metro shed matter seeking their "Intervention to Save Aarey Forest, it's wildlife and future of Mumbai."

The NGO has requested panel members to visit Aarey Forest to witness the rich wildlife and biodiversity of Aarey
The NGO has requested panel members to visit Aarey Forest to witness the rich wildlife and biodiversity of Aarey

While the Maharashtra State Government has formed a panel comprising of four members to look at an Alternative site for Metro 3 carshed instead of Aarey Forest, city-based NGO Empower Foundation has shared a report with the Government Panel on Metro 3 carshed, seeking intervention to Save Aarey Forest, it's wildlife and the future of Mumbai.

It may be noted that on December 11, the Government of Maharashtra formed a Panel comprising of four members to look at an Alternative site for Metro 3 shed instead of Aarey Forest. The members include Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), Principal Secretary (Environment), CMD, MRVC and CCF, Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

City-based Wildlife conservation organization, Empower Foundation has written to the Panel members annexing a 32-page report covering four important aspects with regards to the Aarey and Metro shed matter seeking their "Intervention to Save Aarey Forest, it's wildlife and future of Mumbai."

The report shared by the NGO with the state government highlights the points and facts which state that Aarey is a Forest. The NGO has shared evidence of wildlife and the presence of Leopards in Aarey and 19 Photos and RTI proof on the presence of Leopards in the Aarey area.

The report submitted by the NGO also states information about the details of Governments Expert panel suggested other options and not Aarey and evidence related to government documents have also been shared. A press release issued by the NGO read, "We have also given details regarding MMRCL's 7 misrepresentations on wildlife to JICA along with a summary note and press articles as important evidence."

The NGO has also given papers related to Kanjurmarg Land and some documents which state that there is no litigation on the same land.

Sheetal Mehta, Secretary, Empower Foundation said, "We have represented citizen who want development but not at the cost of environment and have shared the key facts and evidence with details regarding the current Aarey Forest site and also about the alternative sites and their legal status which will help the Panel members to ascertain and take the right decision in the interest of Mumbai at large, as Mumbai becomes the 4th Most polluted Mega City in the World (as per WHO). We have also requested the Panel members to jointly visit Aarey Forest to witness the rich wildlife and biodiversity which is the city's Green lungs so that they can help save the same and the future of the Mumbaikars."

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