Mumbai’s climate and ecology in danger. NO, It is not due to Diwali.

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YES! Mumbai’s climate and ecology is in danger. NO, It is not due to Diwali.

Mumbai, the city of dreams while blessed with wealth is very poor in one aspect, Open spaces. The only relief this densely packed city has are, Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and Aarey. These lush green oases in a sea of grey, not only tackle pollution and floods but also help bring down temperatures. But unfortunately Mumbai stands to lose Aarey due to various upcoming projects.

The first of these, which will open up this green lung to commercialization, is a car shed for the upcoming Mumbai Metro 3. A car shed is nothing but a parking lot and service area for metro trains. Dear reader, in this day and age when the world is struggling with the devastating consequences of climate change, destroying a critical green lung for a parking lot is irresponsible.

  1. 3500 trees are set to be cut and we want the government to rethink the location of the carshed.
  2. There are many viable options, mentioned in their own studies, which have no environmental destruction involved.
  3. Experts from NEERI and IIT have suggested Kanjurmarg, Backbay and Kalina as an option.
  4. They have clearly warned of the consequences Mumbai will face in terms of flooding and loss of open space & wildlife, if the depot is built in Aarey.

Government records show that Aarey is an integral part of SGNP and thus protected under forest laws. It has over 5 Lakh trees,it is home to 7 resident leopards and has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. Even today, original adivasis live in 27 tribal hamlets in Aarey. It offers a unique experience for urban dwellers to experience nature at it's best. “In the name of development, only tribals suffer” said one of the leaders. The Save Aarey campaign has been requesting the government to relocate the carshed to an alternative location. Relocation will not affect the metro 3 alignment in any way. Common citizens from all walks of life, professionals, students, school children, celebrities have all supported this issue.

Inspite of all this the state government is insistent on building the depot in Aarey. By signing this petition, you are asking the government to practice sustainable development. By shifting the depot out of Aarey, Mumbai will not only get a metro but also retain its green, open space. It will also help in putting an end to further loss of land in Aarey to various other big and small projects.

Help #SaveAareyForest.

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