The Bombay High Court today dismissed all petitions against the Bombay Municipal Corporation decision to cut 2,700 trees in the Aarey Colony to make way for the Mumbai Metro car shed. The Bombay HC also dismissed the plea to declare Aarey an ‘ecologically sensitive zone and floodplain’.
Mumbai Metro is an ambitious infrastructure project which attempts to connect every nook and corner of the city. A city clogged with traffic and people this comes as a mode of quick, safe and cheap transit. By reducing vehicular traffic the metro de-clogs the roads and an independent UNFCC study points to the fact that it shall reduce CO2emission by 2.6 lakh metric tons every year.
Aarey is spread over 1278 hectares of land, out which, the metro car shed will be only built on 30 Hectare of Aarey land and even within that, 5 Hectare has been kept intact for greenery. So in a nutshell, only 2% area of the entire Aarey Colony will be utilized for the proposed metro car shed.
Recently, a woman from Marol was threatened by an Aarey ‘activist’ from NGO Vanashakti for writing a Facebook post that supported the Mumbai Metro Construction project.
The proposed metro shed had triggered widespread protests, where assorted NGOs and film stars joined hands to oppose the shed. The protestors argue that the present government is killing the lungs of the city and destroying forests and that the move is anti-environment. However, the fact is that Aarey is not a forest but ‘grazing land’.
The campaign against the Metro project has been ridden with several lies and inaccuracies. it has almost become the professional demand of certain NGOs to stall development work by citing ‘environmental reasons’. Recently, Mumbai High Court imposed a fine of rupees one lakh on an NGO for filing a frivolous petition to stall development project in Navi Mumbai. The court noted that the PIL filed by Abhivyakti, the NGO, was motivated to somehow stall development work in Navi Mumbai.