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Will Aarey Forest Meet A Tragic Death?

In the name of “Development” destroying our natural habitat, how does it justify? Yes, we have moved far ahead from wanderers in the forest to “Civilized”, “Educated” human being. But where does our education leads to?

The world is yet to overcome the disaster of Amazon in the blaze, and again we are going for another destruction. Where are we heading towards? Sitting inside an AC cabin with all the modern, sophisticated equipment to cater to your need is not life. Knowing your surrounding, protecting it, preserving it for the next generation is.

Aarey the green lungs of Mumbai is now on the verge of its extinct. Authorities in the name of so-called development and growth are cutting down the trees in the Aarey forest. The severity rooted back when the government planned to convert the forest area into a commercial region back in 2018.

Aarey Forest
Source: NAC Media

What is the story behind Aarey Forest?

Following the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) cleared the project for felling of over 2,000 trees in Aarey jungles, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) has the requisite clearance to make the car shed for the Mumbai Metro 4 project.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and MMRCL to file their response towards a petition. The petition was registered by Zoru Darius Bathena challenging Tree Authority’s resolution to remove 2646 trees at Aarey Forest, Goregaon in Mumbai.

The division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre heard the petition challenging the move to remove a large part of the forest.

MCGM informed the bench that formal permission is yet to be granted and the process will take 15 days until then no trees will be axed.

The petitioner alleged that such proposals for cutting of trees at Aarey had been floated since 2014. However, due to the stiff opposition, it has either been withdrawn or postponed. Currently, the proposal has been passed by fraudulent methods, petition states.

According to the petition, Tree Authority which comes under the MCGM issued a Public Notice dated June 30th, 2019, calling for suggestions and objections from members of the public. The proposal sought the removal of 2702 trees at Aarey (2238 trees proposed to be cut & 464 trees intended to be transplanted).

Over one lakh citizens registered their objections against the proposal. On July 08th, 2019, the Tree Officer of the said authority conducted a public hearing, where the petitioner and along with 500 other citizens attended and once again raised their objection.

Tree Authority held a meeting to decide on the proposal on August 29th. The proposal tabled was for removal of 2646 trees at Aarey, by reducing of 56 trees from the original plan.

During the meeting, a Resolution was passed permitting the proposal for removal of 2646 trees at Aarey. The proposal was passed by a ‘majority’ of 8 to 6, with three nominated experts allegedly supporting the project, with two members walking out and with two members absent.

The petitioners have sought to revoke the said approval of a resolution to remove 2646 trees.

Aarey forest is the only main lush cover of the city and axing it down would mean an even worse flood situation in Mumbai (considering the current situation). Hundreds of people braved the rain to protest against the decision.

Save Aarey Forest
Source: Twitter

Time is not far where we will be carrying oxygen cylinders as a backpack for our daily life. Awake India, its time we notify the government that Swatch Bharath is not about clearing all the forest. It is to make the cities clean out of the filth or preferably in this case out of dirty political gains. Act now, or be ready to perish.

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