Ever since Mumbai’s Metro car depot was proposed to be made in Aarey Milk colony, many people had staged protests opposing the construction of the car shed. Several activists and citizens had raised environmental concerns about chopping hundreds of trees for the metro construction.
Recently, in a significant decision, the Maharashtra government declared a 600-acre land parcel in Aarey colony near Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) as a reserve forest, reports HT. However, the proposed area will not include infrastructure projects or the metro construction area. This means that those projects will continue to be executed.
In a significant development, the #Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to apply section 4 of the India Forest Act (IFA) to the Aarey land in Goregaon. The move would mean that the entire #Aarey land would be designated as a reserve forest.https://t.co/hzTKPw0udc
— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) September 3, 2020
The state used sections under the Indian Forest Act, 1927, to declare one-fifth of the 3,166-acre in Aarey colony as a reserved forest, reports Indian Express. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. The CM was quoted saying,
“After hearing suggestions and objections, the area to be excluded from the forest will be decided. But, the rights of the tribal community and others concerned will be protected while declaring it as forest.”
Meeting held by CM with Aarey, Forest & Environment Depts. Decision to apply Section 4 of IFA to approximately 600 acres in Aarey land near SGNP taken. This open land will be declared as forest while all rights of Adivasis will be protected: Aaditya Thackery, Maharashtra Minister pic.twitter.com/yfv4B45HOK
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2020
In fact, the government will also appoint a forest settlement officer. Suggestions and objections will also be invited from people and a response will be given in 45 days’ time after initiating the process.
Even though the metro shed construction will continue, several people still applauded this welcome move:
This will be a merit to mumbaikar for sure, Arey is the lungs of Mumbai, without Arey mumbai will be like Delhi there the pollution is 5 to 6 times higher then the safe limit.
This is a photo of vihar lake, can you believe this is in mumbai pic.twitter.com/QdJcZHIKJu
— Before it's Too Late (@BeforeitsTooLa6) September 2, 2020
Thank you being a tradition culture acceptance we would glad Have Cm Like You Who can understand the voice of common citizen staying near ARREY colony .. .@AUThackeray Arrey is Specially For all mumbaikars And each One of Indian
— Ravin purohit (@ravin_purohit) September 2, 2020
— Rahul (@Rahul39587789) September 2, 2020
Thank u 🙏 u r a man of ur word u proved it. Mumbaikars will remember you in the future as the CM who saved r forests & saved Mumbai from ecological disaster.Along with the 600 acres hope d rest of 3400 acres also will b included in d other phases & real estate is kept out
— rups (@rupapp) September 2, 2020
Forest is absolutely essentiall for the maintenance of atmosphere especially in the metropolis area where there is lack of trees also flora and fauna very impt thing,it acts as a controller of upcoming natural disasters as flood, It helps in bringing rain where by helping farmars
— Nisar Ahmed 17 (@17_nisar) September 2, 2020
Several others also voiced their concerns about the car shed project and the amount of tax-payers money that would go to waste because of this new decision.
Shifting and haulting of car shed project will delay metro project and increase in cost . Wastage of taxpayer money .
— Vikas Raut (@Vikasvraut2) September 3, 2020
What will happen to metro car shed . Again thousands of trees will be cut at proposed new place . Delay in the project and huge cost escalation and passing FSI benefit to real estate builder.
— Sanjay Deshpande (@SanjayD51350565) September 3, 2020
How will you complete Mumbai Metro Line 03.What is your ideas?When will you complete it? Please answer these questions?Last but not least, how will you make provision of funds?It is egoism https://t.co/VcH6MgSZ0w will merit to your son & demerit to Mumbaikar.
— Nitin K Pathak (@nitinkpathak5) September 2, 2020
The additional cost that is to be incurred for shifting the @MumMetro infrastructure elsewhere has to be ultimately borne by us taxpayers only! तुम्ही फक्त घोषणा करा बसल्या बसल्या, तुमचं काय जातंय। #Aarey #MumbaiMetro #Mumbai
— Nikhil Kulkarni 🇮🇳 (@MisterKulkarni) September 2, 2020
Total area of aarey milk colony is 16km2 total3954 acres.Sir you are talking about 600 acres.what about the rest 3354 acres????~
Please amha la sanga na.
— RAHUL KOKATE (@RAHULKOKATE) September 2, 2020
Aarey is one of the last remaining green spaces in Mumbai. So, it’s very important that we preserve this precious piece of greenery in the metropolitan city. What do you think? Tell us.