The struggle to save Mumbai’s open spaces might just get a boost.
Juhu residents have decided to launch a movement to unite residents of the western suburbs in the fight for open spaces and, as step one of the agitation, will hold a demonstration on Friday against a private group that has allegedly hacked trees in the area.
The residents claim Ronson Foundation, which also developed Kaifi Azmi Park, violated its agreement with the civic body in hacking more than 1,000 trees on a 14,000-sq-metre plot it has maintained since 1990. The plot, they say, had nearly 1,300 trees in 1990; it has 300 now.
“It’s time citizens unite against private foundations which, in the garb of maintaining open spaces, are playing havoc with our green lungs,” said filmmaker and local resident Ashoke Pandit.
Ronson Foundation trustee Sohail Kusumgar said the allegations were false. “The BMC conducted a tree census last year, which revealed there were 1,300-odd trees in that area,” he said.
Sanjay Hegde, chairman of the Gulmohar Area Societies Welfare Group, said his organisation would fight all private bodies that had taken over public spaces and violated norms.