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Save Aarey Forest

The BMC’s tree authority has issued a notice for permission for removal of 2,702 tree by MMRCL at Aarey for the proposed polluting Metro3 Car Depot near the Mithi River – which will cause Mumbai to flood even more, and even destroy a leopard habitat! As required by law, they have put an ad in the papers inviting OBJECTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC IN WRITING TO THE CUTTING

If you believe this is important, please write your objection to this disastrous proposal SEND YOUR OBJECTION LETTERS. PLEASE DO SEND THE LETTERS IMMEDIATELY BY SPEED POST TO THE ADDRESS GIVEN BELOW.

Also come* on Wed 10th Oct at 2.30pm & show that you stand for Aarey Forest 👊🏼👊🏼👊🏼 Even if you’re ‘busy,’ your written hard copy complaints and presence IN LARGE NUMBERS on 10th can save 2702 trees. There is no better use for your valuable time than this!
#saveaareyforest

VENUE:VENUE:
Office of the Tree Officer, 2nd fl, Penguin building, Byculla Zoo (Jijamata Udyan) Also locally known as “Rani Baug” – Enter through back entrance – on the Masina Hospital lane, near petrol pump and bus stop, since main zoo gate is shut on Wednesdays (Tree Authority Byculla on Google Maps)

DATE AND TIME:
10th October 2.30 PM

GETTING THERE
Closest railway stations – Reay Road (Harbour Line), Byculla (Central line) or Grant Road (Western Line). There will be no traffic at that time, so road travel is also easy.

GROUP CO-ORDINATION
If needed you can message the Aarey Forest page (host of this fb event page)

BUT hard copy letters and your presence in person will work much better, because Govt offices sometimes don’t accurately disclose the exact number of emails they receive, nor do they always acknowledge receipt

SAMPLE LETTER – YOU MAY CUT+PASTE OR WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER AS PER YOUR WISH. PLEASE SEND THE LETTERS BY SPEED POST. 

To,
Suptd of Gardens & Tree Officer,
VJB Udyan, Byculla (E),
Mumbai 400027
India
Email- sg.gardens@mcgm.gov.in
CC: aareyconservationgroup@gmail.com

Sir,

SUBJECT – Strong objection to permission applied for proposed cutting of 2702 trees at Aarey Milk Colony by MMRCL for Metro-3 (Colaba-Seepz line)

I refer to your Public Notice inviting objections to cut/remove trees at Aarey Milk Colony for Mumbai Metro 3 related work [ Ad in DNA Newspaper dated 26/9/2018 and Public Hearing on 10.10.2018]

As a citizen of India and resident of Mumbai, I strongly object to any proposal to cut/remove trees at Aarey Forest in Goregaon East, Mumbai and urge you to deny any such permission.

This land is an eco-sensitive forested area and must be protected at all costs. The proposed Metro3 construction activities in Aarey are to take place on low-lying area of Aarey, along the catchment area of the Mithi River, whose role in nature is to contain flooding, and I am sure you will understand that there should be no construction or deforestation in such places.

Tampering with flood plains like this could lead to disastrous monsoon flooding of entire Mumbai city during high tides, a disaster which I am sure even the BMC does not want. Allowing any construction and deforestation along the Mithi River is detrimental to the interests of all Mumbaikars. It is saddening to see that Instead of broadening the banks of the Mithi River to allow for good drainage and planting more trees there, we are having proposals such as construction of polluting facilities and “Red flag industries” like chemical-emitting car servicing sheds at this ecologically critical zone near the source of the Mithi River.

Moreover, rich biodiversity including endangered species of animals and plants protected by Indian laws is found in Aarey, and these have been spotted around the proposed metro3 car shed site. Leopards are a well-documented schedule 1 endangered/protected species in Aarey, and it is our legal duty to protect them since Aarey is regarded as one of the world’s densest leopard habitats. Cutting forests will force leopards to enter residential areas in Andheri and Goregaon, endangering both humans and leopards.

The wilderness of Aarey doesn’t just give us oxygen and filter the air we breathe, it also regulates our climate, drainage, water table and natural resources for the tribal people living here. It is BMC’s duty to maintain this, and hence BMC cannot constitutionally take our basic rights to a good environment away from us.

I commute regularly by public transport and fully support the need to build good public transport in Mumbai, but it is also well-known that the Mumbai Metro3 has several alternative options available which are not as eco sensitive as Aarey. Please ask the MMRC to explore those instead of repeatedly chasing Aarey for whatever suspicious reasons. We only object to this reckless cutting in Aarey Forest, and not the metro project itself.

It is both illegal and unconstitutional for public sector undertakings like MMRCL or BMC to promote environmental destruction when other un-forested options for car sheds are available. The people of Mumbai will not accept such bad governance.

It is sad to see that Instead of proudly protecting THE WORLD’S ONLY URBAN FOREST in which 7000 indigenous tribals in 27 tribal villages live in harmony with wild leopards in a natural forest the middle of a metropolis like Mumbai and promoting it proudly as an ecotourism role model world-wide, a public sector corporation like MMRCL is working against the people and asking for permission to destroy the pride of Mumbai. We hope that BMC will not betray Mumbai this time.

Moreover, there are cases going on in courts regarding the matter, and it would be unethical to give permission to cut trees while these matters are in court.

Lastly, the BMC has already rejected the parts of Mumbai’s development Plan which proposed construction of Metro shed in Aarey, citing many of the very same reasons as i have, so it is only reasonable that your department also reject the removal of trees here related to the plan that BMC itself has rejected. How can the BMC go against the BMC’s own stand on Aarey?

I do not want you to give permissions to Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) to remove these trees in Aarey Colony/ Aarey Forest. Please acknowledge receipt of this objection.

Thanking You
(Signature, name, address)

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