Preparations for the Line 3 of metro in Mumbai have started with a full throttle. The metro line will connect Cuffe Parade business district in the extreme south of the city to SEEPZ in the north-central with 26 underground and one at-grade station. Aarey Colony being the only at-grade station is also one of the last green patches of Mumbai. Recently, the environment ministry allowed constructions for the car shed of Metro 3 in the Aarey Colony area. Nearly 200 citizens from various civic forums have protested this decision.
If the construction of the Metro car shed begins, nearly 2200 trees will be axed and 408 acres of forest land could be destroyed.
This Monday, 100s of residents and 200 members of various civic forums gathered at the civic headquarters. Hoisting the Banner of “Save Aarey Milk Colony”. They also had the support of Shiv Sena’s youth leader Aaditya Thackeray. In a letter to the Governor, he wrote “Sadly, the government report and the head of the Metro project states that Aarey is not a forest, whereas currently the forest has a vibrant biodiversity, including almost 30 leopards. What hurts the city is impatient and impulsive decisions as this, when the Metro yard could have easily been shifted to a nearby private golf course.”
Aarey Colony is not just a forest land, it is much more that that! Here’s why-
- Aarey Colony’s thick forest cover acts as a natural air conditioner for Mumbai city.
- There are many species of birds that are exclusively found in Aarey colony and not found anywhere else in India.
- The construction could affect the biodiversity of the place as it will disrupt movement of leopards and migratory birds.
- According to environmentalists, destruction of a natural habitat like Aarey could result in disasters like climate change, floods and polluted air.
In India, an environmental issue never gets the media attention it deserves. But this one just can’t be ignored. Mumbai is one of the few megacities of India with a forest within its limits. Removing Mumbai’s green cover could create a similar situation like Delhi, where the air pollution is lethal. Eco-sensitive areas like Aarey should be taken very seriously and development should never be the priority before nature.
After reading this, feel free to express your views on this issue and do write to us in the comments section.