5 things to know about #SaveAareyForest campaign

Mumbai referred to as ‘the city of dreams’ indeed has been inculcating wealth in all aspects and the lush green and densely packed forest and National Park enhances temperature control within the city. The city which drains out the bulk of water every year during monsoon is majorly bestowed by the roots of forests holding city’s ground rigid from drowning and eroding.

What is happening to Aarey?

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the Aarey Forest had been keeping the city elevated since years protecting it from various catastrophes. According to the recent news, people across the nation have been raging in protests and campaigns of saving thousands of trees from being cut after the Brihan Mumbai Corporation cleared Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to axe down 2,702 trees of Aarey Forest in order to make way for the much-contested Metro car shed project.

The Tree Authority thereby passed the project permission to cut down 2,232 trees from the Aarey Colony and translocate 469 others.

What is the project about?

The area is planned to be opening up for commercialization by creating a car shed for the upcoming Mumbai Metro 3 that is being funded by a Japanese company, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The company would be funding 57% of the project cost of around $2,036 Million.  Another project waits that is sanctioned by the Force One Group.

Why is this not right?

At a time when environmentalists, government and activists have been investing so much in tree plantation campaigns to tackle air pollution and climate change, MMRCL has been permitting environment crusaders to crush the ecosystem under their feet for a metro car shed. The number of years has been witness to fight of several activists and environmentalists protecting the Aarey forest while over 100 trees have already been cut down in order to initiate this project. Aarey forest is the core of Sanjay Gandhi National Park supporting an ecosystem 5 lakh trees, 9 resident leopards, 76 species of birds, 80 species of butterflies, 16 species of mammals and 38 species of reptiles with rich biodiversity. 

How can it effect the environment?

Authority members led by the Shiv Sena and Congress have been rejecting the proposal and claimed that they did not show the green light for this degrading project of BMC. However, cutting down of Aarey forest would eventually lead to flooding since it is located at the banks of Mithi river. The roots of this forest play a big role in holding the water together from drowning the city. Apart from this, the major agenda begins here when massive climate changes have been affected by supremely. Air Quality Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) mentioned that Mumbai’s Air Quality Index is 244 (poor) and even higher than Delhi which reduced from 204 to 183 (moderate) this year.  Hence, this sole standing forest serves as Mumbai’s lungs in providing accurate amount of oxygen for the people to survive.

What does the court say?

A Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Rajan Gogoi directed the government and the MMRC to write down alternate sites for the project while a technical committee was formed to look into the damages adversely affecting Aarey’s biodiversity. 

Related Posts