A three-acre plot reserved as a recreation ground is being used as a manufacturing plant for ready- mix concrete, alleges Citispace, a forum for protection of public spaces. The plot is an extension to the Veer Jijamata Bhonsale Udyan.
In a letter sent to the civic body on Monday, Citispace said that the manufacturing plant was affecting the animals and plants in the zoo.
The udyan, also known as Byculla Zoo, is the only zoo in Mumbai and has over 200 trees and shrubs and animals.
“We are shocked to see this happening on a plot reserved as a RG,” said Neera Punj, convener, Citispace. “We have maps to prove that it is a public open space . This clearly means that no construction or manufacturing activity should be allowed on this plot as outlined in the development plan of Mumbai.”
The forum has opposed the activity citing that the manufacturing unit right next to the zoo will harm the animals and botany there. The area also has several hospitals and schools and the plant is totally unsuitable and cannot be allowed to function there, the letter said.
It further said that the plant would eventually lead to asphalting of the entire plot, which would convert a permeable ground into a barren plot adversely affecting the ecology and making it more flood prone since it would not absorb rain water.
The plant also creates high level of noise pollution and dust and grime that disperses all around the plot, the letter said.
“We want this harmful activity to be halted since it is detrimental to its immediate surrounding,” said Punj.
Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner, who received the letter on Tuesday, said he had asked his officials to check the complaint.
“The civic body is usually careful about issues like these. So if it is found that the complaint is true and is causing difficulty to the animals in the zoo, then we will take necessary decisions to stop the work,” said Gupta.