Mumbai | The citizens of Mumbai have taken to streets to protest against the BMC order of cutting of 2,700 trees in Aarey forest for construction.
Earlier, Tree Authority approved Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation’s (MMRC) request to cut trees for car shed which is part of Mumbai Metro project.
An expert committee panel that was appointed by the High Court also criticized the BMC alleging that they were pressured to vote in favour felling so many trees.
Conservationists have argued that Aarey is a forest that has wildlife including leopards and needs to be protected to ensure Mumbai has clean air and the ecological balance is maintained.
They are urging the government to shift the Metro car shed elsewhere.
Across the city, individuals and organisations such as Fridays for Future (FFF) and Aarey Consolation Group protested the decision. Around 150 FFF volunteers were seen protesting at Churchgate, Bandra, Andheri, Borivali, Thane, Vashi and Shivaji Park.
— Bhavika Jain (@bhavikajTOI) August 31, 2019
“The experts who were nominated by the renowned NGOs. And these people are the real experts who carried out the site inspection. On August 13, they have opposed the felling of trees in writing. Despite that, the Tree Authority and BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said that these experts have confirmed the felling of trees which is a total lie. One of the Committee members Shashi Rekha Suresh Kumar, who resigned from the Tree Authority, said in her press release that the argument that all committee members have supported the tree felling was wrong. Right now Mumbai residents are feeling backstabbed,” said a protester, as quotes by TimesNow.
A tribal girl who also joined the protest said, “We are living in Aarey area and we know the value and importance of trees. Metro authorities are telling us that these trees are useless for us. And the other day Tree Authority members told us that any decision will be taken after consulting you.”