Walls along nullah at Mumbai’s Aarey will choke water supply to trees, fear activists | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Walls along nullah at Mumbai’s Aarey will choke water supply to trees, fear activists

The retaining walls being built along a stream-turned-nullah at Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon will choke water supply to trees and eventually kill them, environmentalists feared.

mumbai Updated: May 02, 2017 08:44 IST
Badri Chatterjee
The construction work is being carried out near Mahrashtra Agro Industries Development Corporation building.
The construction work is being carried out near Mahrashtra Agro Industries Development Corporation building.(HT)

The retaining walls being built along a stream-turned-nullah at Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon will choke water supply to trees and eventually kill them, environmentalists feared.

Worse, the garden department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has put up notices to hack 24 trees at the construction site.

In a complaint filed on Sunday to the BMC, the suburban district collector and the state environment department, environment watchdog Vanashakti alleged that the construction work near Mahrashtra Agro Industries Development Corporation building, towards the Goregaon exit from Aarey Colony needs to be stopped immediately.The BMC is building the walls to widen the nullah and streamline its flow, said officials.

“The mountain stream feeds the forests. This is a completely unwanted project,” said Stalin D, director of Vanashakti. “The area has no human settlements and no history of flooding.”

Stalin said the impact of concretising banks and floodplains had not been researched.

“Garbage and silt should be removed without jeopardising water supply to trees,” he said.

Residents of the area said the BMC was spending tax payers’ money without any consultation from the locals. “There is no need to widen the nullah. Before beginning the work, they should have consulted us. Now, we will lose 24 trees too because of this wanton activity,” said Biju Augustine, Aarey resident.

Meanwhile, Aarey and BMC officials said the work would help nurture the green cover of the area. “The work will help channel water better to the trees in the area,” said Nathu Rathod, chief executive officer, Aarey.

“We are only allowing a uniform flow of water through the work,” said Ahir Rao, assistant engineer,SWD department, P (South) ward. “There is no harm being done to the environment.”

Why should you care?

All construction in Aarey Colony, Goregaon is temporarily banned as per a National Green Tribunal order from January this year until final orders are communicated

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation plans to construct a metro car shed for the metro III project across a 33 ha area, which has been strongly opposed by citizen environmentalists

In June last year, petitioners NGOs Vanashakti and Aarey Conservation Group (ACG) had filed a petition seeking long-term protection of the Aarey landscape and to maintain it as a no-development zone.

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