Mumbai: Will Shiv Sena tree-t Aarey right?
All eyes on ruling party in the BMC as it gets ready to table proposal to remove 2,702 trees from Aarey Milk Colony for Metro III car shed
As the BMC prepares to sit down on Tuesday for a meeting to discuss the most-debated proposal of removing 2,702 trees from the Aarey Milk Colony to make way for the Metro III car shed, the ball is in Shiv Sena's court. BJP's alliance partner has been a vocal opponent of the uprooting. Activists are also expected to take the same stand at the meeting.
A senior Sena leader said, "We are with the people of the city, most of whom have objected to the tree-cutting for the car shed. Though we are not against any developmental work, we will try to save trees." Activist Zoru Bhatena, who is a member of the Bombay High Court-approved tree committee, said, "The ruling party has rejected the proposed Metro car shed in Aarey twice in BMC. The resolution of not having a car shed in Aarey was passed in BMC's general meeting. The party should stick to its decision."
Sena's Yashwant Jadhav, who is the chairman of the Standing Committee chairman and a member of the Tree Authority remained unavailable for comment. MMRCL was also not available.
A total of 6,829 trees need to be uprooted to clear the path for the underground Metro III line from Colaba to SEEPZ and its depot in Aarey Colony. While BMC's tree authority has already sanctioned the removal of 3,381 trees, the plan to remove 3,448 trees is now in the pipeline.
The 33 km-long Metro will connect Colaba to Seepz via 26 stations. Though work on the project has been going on in full swing, the most debated proposal of removing 2,702 trees is on the cards now. The tree authority couldn't take a decision on any tree in the city for almost a year after it was upheld illegal in the absence of tree experts by HC. Now, following the inclusion of several experts, the committee will table its first big proposal regarding the removal of 2,702 trees on Tuesday. BMC has received more than 82,000 e-mails, most of which have opposed hacking the trees. The garden department would be putting forward the suggestions and objections in the meeting. Five more proposals will also be discussed.
On the hacking proposal
(No. of trees to be removed or transplanted for Metro stations and depot)
. Vidhan Bhavan 19
. CST 4
. Cuffe Parade 32
. Kalbadevi 1
. Aarey Milk Colony 2,702
6,829 Total number of trees which have to be uprooted for the project
2,754 No. of trees permitted to be removed in May 2017: 2,754
3,167 No. of trees to be hacked for the project that has increased in the last two years
3,662 No. of trees proposed to be removed for the car shed
1,483 No. of trees to be transplanted
659 No. of transplanted trees that have survived
23,838 No. of new trees planted (out of which 20, 900 in SGNP)
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