Mumbai: Don't allow MMRDA to chop Aarey trees, eco-warriors tell BMC
Members from Save Aarey Milk Colony (SAMC) group met Tree Authority officials yesterday; say BMC officials assured best possible help
In their efforts to save the 2,298 trees in the Aarey Milk Colony, which will be chopped to clear the site for building a car depot for the Metro Line-3, members of the Save Aarey Milk Colony (SAMC) group met Tree Authority officials yesterday, and requested them to deny permission to the Mumbai Metropolitan Development Authority (MMRDA) to cut the trees.
The Save Aarey Milk Colony group is strongly opposed to plans to cut almost 3,000 trees to make way for the CBS Metro III project. File pic
Members claimed that Tree Authority officials said they would help them in the best way possible. They even claimed that the officials told them that a team of BMC officials would be sent to inspect the site, following which a detailed report would be tabled before the higher authorities.
Manish Sethi from SAMC group said, “A few of our members met the BMC’s Tree Authority officials and the garden superintendent on Monday morning. They informed them about the destruction of a few trees at the construction site of the proposed car depot. The members even conveyed the sentiments of those who were against the chopping of trees in the colony.
We requested the authorities to deny permission to the MMRDA to cut trees, as this will have a negative impact on the bio-diversity of the colony.” He added that their only request to the authorities was that the car depot should be shifted to a location where the project could be executed without harming the trees.
Environmentalist and SAMC group member Rishi Aggarwal said, “Another location where the car depot can be shifted to is Colaba. Here, the project can be executed on reclaimed land. Same will be suggested to the development authority.”
During a meeting that was held between SAMC members and MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan last week, the former requested the MMRDA chief to construct the car depot on plots available with the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT).
An MMRDA official said, “The SAMC group members met Madan and requested him to build the car depot on MbPT land. Our officials tried to explain to them that doing so was impossible, as the work on Metro Line-3 had already commenced.
Moreover, constructing the car depot on a new site will require us to seek fresh permissions. This could take months, or even years. We don’t want the Metro project to get delayed, and so we requested the group to think practically from all possible angles.”