More than 33,000 objections, suggestions to felling of Aarey trees for Mumbai Metro-3 shed
In a record, more than 33,000 suggestions and objections have been submitted by citizens and activists against the civic body’s proposal to fell 2,702 trees in the Aarey Milk Colony in Goregaon for the Metro-3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) car shed.
The notice of the proposal was put out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on behalf of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), which will construct the shed, on September 26.
The last day to submit objections was Wednesday and the hearing will be on the same day at the office of the garden superintendent.
Jeetendra Pardeshi, superintendent, garden department said, “This is the highest number of objections/suggestions we have ever received for any proposal to cut trees. We will need at least eight days to go through each complaint . Some complaints may be duplicates. We have not decided whether we would consider them as one”. These 33,000 objections/suggestions include letters and emails.
“It is good that so many people have objected. I am hoping that at least a few hundreds, if not, a thousand people attend the hearing so that the government knows that we are serious about saving Aarey. If we simply let the BMC or MMRC to do anything as per their whims, then Mumbai will lose a lot of its green cover,” said activist Zoru Bhatena.
After the hearing, the BMC will put forth the proposal along with the objections/suggestions before the tree authority ( a 13-member committee headed by the civic chief) .
The Metro car shed has been a bone of contention between the state and city’s green activists as the latter said the car-shed reservation at Aarey was an excuse to open up the area to real estate development. After the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Aarey Colony is a major green spot for the city.
In a bid to save trees, environmental group Vanashakti had filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which they had to withdraw after the NGT said that Aarey Colony is not a forest and that the case can be dismissed only by the SC or the high court.