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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Varsha Gaikwad joins Kurla residents green bid

Mumbai: Varsha Gaikwad joins Kurla residents’ green bid

Updated on: 17 May,2024 09:04 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rajendra B. Aklekar |

Says will ensure defunct govt dairy land in Nehru Nagar is reserved as recreational plot

Mumbai: Varsha Gaikwad joins Kurla residents’ green bid

Varsha Gaikwad with residents at Kurla dairy

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Mumbai: Varsha Gaikwad joins Kurla residents’ green bid

Residents of Nehru Nagar in Kurla East who started a citizen movement they terming ‘Lok Chalwal’ to reserve the old Kurla government milk dairy land for a garden and recreation ground to maintain greenery and have an open space in the area on Thursday received support from Varsha Gaikwad, sitting Dharavi MLA and Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) candidate for Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North Central constituency. mid-day highlighted the issue in February 2024, of how Kurla residents had started a citizen movement by beginning a WhatsApp group, door-to-door campaign and signature drive. The subject gained immediate traction as the group had 800 members within a week’s time.

The 10.4-hectare piece of land earlier used by the government milk dairy at Nehru Nagar, Kurla, has been lying unused after the dairy shut down nearly a decade ago. The land is placed strategically, sandwiched along the Santacruz Chembur Link Road, LTT Kurla Terminus, Mumbai Metro Yellow Line 2B and the Harbour Line of the suburban railway network. State government officials had said at an MMRDA meeting in December 2023 that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had appointed MMRDA as the special planning authority for the dairy land development at Kurla and Worli. Sources said MMRDA is looking to monetise the land to finance infra projects by building a mixed-use mini-BKC development plan of residential and commercial complexes at the site.

“Like a greedy ‘Pac-Man’, this corrupt government is hell-bent on gobbling up every inch of public open space there is in Mumbai. It now wants to commercially exploit a 10.4-hectare verdant land, previously used by the Mother Dairy, at Nehru Nagar in Kurla East. The land is eco-sensitive and lush green with 800-900 precious trees. The government wants to mercilessly hack these trees and turn this place into a commercial complex only to serve the greed of a firm linked to a top BJP leader. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has already appointed MMRDA as the Special Planning Authority (SPA) for the monetisation of this eco-sensitive belt. But vigilant citizens of Nehru Nagar are determined to foil this corrupt bid. They have launched a spirited mass citizens' movement called Lok Chalwal to fight against this land grab,” Gaikwad said.

Gaikwad said a Lok Chalwal delegation met her on Wednesday and submitted a memorandum of demands. “I accompanied them to the site on Thursday and have assured them that my party and I will fight this battle with them. Together, we will defeat the government's sinister plot. Nehru Nagar residents and the Congress party demand an unconditional withdrawal of the move for the land's monetisation. The SPA status granted to the MMRDA should be withdrawn and the plot should be reserved for a public garden in the Development Plan. We will fight this battle till justice is done!” she added. According to local residents Kiran Pailwan and Jitendra Kamble, there are around 800 to 900 trees on the plot now. “If the mini-BKC project is implemented, we will lose all the tree cover and in addition, will find a crowded neighbourhood in future, with 25-30 per cent more people.”

10.4 ha
Area of plot where dairy used to be

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