Mumbai: Support pours in against cutting 2,703 Aarey trees

Updated: Jul 05, 2019, 07:56 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

BMC issues public notice inviting suggestions and objections to removing the trees at Aarey Milk Colony in view of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro line-3 car shed construction work

Mumbai: Support pours in against cutting 2,703 Aarey trees
Aarey Milk Colony is one of the most biodiversity-rich areas of the city and acts as a buffer zone for Sanjay Gandhi National Park. File pic

With the BMC inviting suggestions and objections to removing 2,703 trees at Aarey Milk Colony to pave way for construction of the car depot for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro line-3, nature lovers and city-based green activists have launched several online petitions to garner support against the move. They are of the opinion that at least 20,000 people would file their suggestions and objections before the last date for submission (July 8).

On July 2, environment lover Nirali Vaidya started an online petition – Mumbai's climate and ecology in danger. Till date the petition has received 186,711 signatures. The petitioner has even appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NGT, SC, Justice Dipak Misra, JICA India and JICA Tokyo to help save the trees.

Another petition has been started by Empower Foundation on airalert.in and has been referred to Jitendra Pardeshi, superintendent of Garden Department and Tree Authority. Till now it has received 37,678 signatures.

Speaking to mid-day, environmentalist Stalin D said, "Our stand is absolutely clear. We oppose the massacre of 2,703 trees in the name of development, that too in an area which is rich in biodiversity. We are confident that at least 20,000 people will oppose the move and many will also be present for the public hearing."

Vaidya's objection
"As a citizen of India and resident of Mumbai, we strongly object – AGAIN – to any proposal to cut/remove trees in Aarey forest and urge you to deny any such permission. Proposals to chop trees at Aarey have been put up repeatedly and every time citizens have objected. Last year the same proposal received over 60,000 objections.

The Mumbai Metro 3 car shed is a category 3 polluting industry. It is being built here despite the availability of alternate locations (Kanjurmarg, Mumbai University, Dharavi, Bombay Port Trust, SEEPZ, BackBay, Mahalaxmi Race Course) and the recommendations of the government's own expert committee.

According to international benchmarks, there must be seven trees per person. But in Mumbai, the average comes down to less than 1 tree per person. As for transplantation, records have shown that more than 55 per cent of the transplanted trees do not survive. Also, a good tree cover is required across the city. So there is little sense in removing trees from one area and transplanting them elsewhere. It is a matter of inconceivable oversight that MMRCL has not taken into consideration the factors pertaining to environmental degradation while planning its Metro project."

Suggestions here:

. Send an email to sg.gardens@mcgm.gov.in
. Visit act.airalert.in to send an e-mail to Jitendra Pardeshi

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