Tribals in Mumbai’s Aarey to protest on Independence Day for freedom from environmental destruction
Opposing the reservation of land for the Metro car shed and other construction activities at Aarey Colony, tribal residents and NGOs will hold a silent protest march on Independence Day. The Aarey Chhodo Andolan (leave Aarey protest) march will start from Marol police station to the Aarey picnic spot.
Protestors want freedom from environmental destruction of Aarey, which is a no-development zone.
The NGO Watchdog Foundation, which will participate in the protest, is up in arms against the slum rehabilitation scheme and any projects that harm the city’s green lungs.
Godfrey Pimenta, trustee of the NGO, said, “We are protesting to highlight these issues that threaten the green cover. The metro car shed could be shared between Metro 1 and 3 by realigning the proposed Metro 3.”
Vivian D’souza of Bombay East Indian Association said at least 150 residents would join the protest. “The east Indians have lost their land because of the wanton developement over the years. People from across 60 villages are protesting against any project that harms the environment.”
Residents of Aarey’s 27 tribal villages had protested against a government study over Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) schemes in Aarey.
“Human population and vehicles have been increasing in the protected Aarey Colony. We are appealing to all tribal villages to join us,” added Pimenta.
According to the Development Plan 2034, 33 hectares of Aarey Colony has been earmarked for the car shed.
The shed is part of the underground 33.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro corridor that will intersect the existing Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line.
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