Aaditya Thackeray slams CM for plan to hand over Mahim Nature Park for Dharavi redevelopment | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Aaditya Thackeray slams CM for plan to hand over Mahim Nature Park for Dharavi redevelopment

The Shiv Sena leader, who visited the park on Wednesday, said this is the only government that considers destruction of environment as development

mumbai Updated: Mar 21, 2018 17:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray.
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray.(HT File Photo)

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday criticised Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ government for its plan to hand over the 37-acre Mahim Nature Park to the Slum Rehabilitation Authority under the proposed Dharavi redevelopment plan.

Thackeray, who visited the park on Wednesday morning, said this is the only government that considers the “destruction of environment as development,” and wondered if the CM was even aware of the plan.

The forested park, which was slowly converted from a wasteland to a green patch, is spread along the south bank of Mithi river.

The Yuva Sena chief alleged that the government’s move ​is actually a ploy to give away the park to builders under the guise of development. “Mahim Nature Park was a dumping ground and was converted into a park later. Now, the state government intends to give it away to builders and make it a concrete dumping ground. I have only one question — didn’t the chief minister know about this plan? If he did, why didn’t he oppose the plan to cut the trees,” Thackeray tweeted.

If the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), headed by Fadnavis, is unable to maintain the park, the government should hand it over to the Sena-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Thackeray suggested. “The nature park should remain as it is,” he said.

When the park opened to the public first in 1994, authorities expected that it would see three million visitors a year, but in the first year, it saw only 5,000 visitors. In 2013, the footfall had dropped to a dismal 100.

The MMRDA, which is in charge of the park, had planned a makeover and had called for designs from global players. In January 2017, it also selected one company to implement the makeover, which envisaged an amphitheatre, viewing platforms, reservoir, watch tower, cafeteria, library, canopied walkway and floating boardwalk along periphery of the park for a close view of the mangroves and mudflats.

“Interestingly, today is World Forest Day. #MahaForest is trending on social media, and the government wants to give that forest away to builders,” the Sena leader tweeted.

Thackeray has also opposed the government’s plan to construct a car depot for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro 3 corridor on a 25-hectare plot in Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon. The BMC even refused permission to cut trees for the project in Aarey, though the state government has since overruled its decision.