Save Aarey: Morning walker shocked to see 20 trees cut down

Updated: 28 January, 2020 18:21 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Morning walker shocked to see 20 trees cut down near Chafyachapada, says trees might have been cut as recently as last week

Even as city-based environmental activists continue their fight to save the city's green lung — Aarey Milk Colony — chopping of trees goes on unabated. A morning walker has found out that over the past three to four days, more than 20 trees have been cut near Chafyachapada, a tribal hamlet, but the Aarey CEO office is yet to take any action.

Green activists have been opposing the cutting of trees in the area, which is also the reason why construction of the Aarey car depot has been facing stiff opposition. Work on the car depot was stopped after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray put a stay on the matter after coming to power.

The government has appointed a committee to explore the alternative sites for the car depot, for which they will submit a final report soon.

Some shrubs and more than 20 trees have been cut in the area
Some shrubs and more than 20 trees have been cut in the area

However, locals are of the opinion that the Aarey CEO office was turning a blind eye to the destruction of trees happening at other locations of Aarey.

A morning walker has sent mid-day some pictures, which shows that small shrubs and trees have been cut near Chafyachapada. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said, "It's important to save the forest but the Aarey CEO office is least bothered about the illegal hutments that have come up after chopping trees. Around three to four days ago when I visited Panchavati garden area, I was shocked to see that on one of the stretches near Chafyachapada the shrubs had been cleared and more than 20 small- and medium-size trees had been chopped. If a common man like me can spot the destruction, then why can't the officials see it?"

Time and again locals and those visiting Aarey have highlighted how at many places hutments have come up after destroying trees. According to the morning walker, who has shared some pictures of the trees that have been cut, the destruction happened in the last week. It also appears from the pictures that earthmovers might have been used to remove them, after which the land was leveled.

However, CEO Nathu Rathod told mid-day, "I will ask the officials concerned to visit the spot and after verifying the information necessary steps will be taken."

Stalin D from Aarey Conservation Group said, "The massacre of trees in Aarey forest continues. We thought that new government would put the brakes on felling of trees. Even the Supreme Court ordered a ban on cutting of trees at Aarey. How can the order be flouted like this?"

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First Published: 28 January, 2020 07:42 IST

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