Can’t let trees be hacked for Mumbai’s Metro-3 depot: Protesters
On the third day of protests against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-appointed tree authority’s decision to cut and transplant 2,646 trees at Aarey Colony for work on the Metro-3 car shed, Mumbaiites formed a three-kilometre human chain at the spot on Sunday.
The protest, which began at 11am and lasted around two hours, saw people from all walks of life, including television actors and Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor. While Aarey police said that around 500 people turned up at the spot, protestors have claimed that more than 1,000 citizens participated.
Amrita Singh, who participated in the protest, said, “People showed up from Thane, Navi Mumbai, Panvel, Nallasopara, Palghar, Ulhasnagar and Dahanu, even on a Sunday and a day before Ganeshotsav begins. That says a lot about our team spirit. We will not let the government take away one of the last green lungs left in the city.”
Five-year-old Arjun Mehta, who also participated in the protest, said, “I know that they are going to cut a lot of trees at Aarey. Trees give us oxygen and they must not be cut. There are also animals at Aarey – nine leopards – who will be harmed.”
Many protesters felt that the authorities had not paid heed to their demands and suggestions. Radhika Jhaveri, a resident of Navi Mumbai, said, “BMC took inputs from us and conducted a hearing, but did not heed our suggestions. We feel like our voices are not being heard.”
“We want to send a simple message to the government. We will keep growing in numbers. Over the next week, we have more protests planned. Citizens are raising valid concerns through their objections, and we want to be heard,” said another protestor Nishant Bangera.
On Friday, citizens protested at seven locations across the city, including the BMC headquarters at Fort. On Saturday, they protested at the picnic spot at Aarey and the selfie point outside the BMC headquarters.
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- The 82-year-old activist, who was granted interim bail for six months on medical grounds by the Bombay high court on February 22, was discharged from the private hospital late Saturday night, they said.