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Requesting to Act on Suggestions to Protect Bio-Diversity of SGNP - Aarey Corridor

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To Hon CM, Govt of Maharashtra Maharashtra

CC: - Tree Authority Board, Dairy Minister, SGNP Forest Director, Revenue Minister, Local MLAs, BMC Aarey Ward Additional Commissioner, MCGM Commissioner

Ref – SGNP – Aarey Corridor Protection for Leopards & other Biodiversity

We are writing this letter requesting you to personally intervene in the matter of preserving Aarey Milk Colony (Mumbai City, India). Aarey Milk Colony in Mumbai City (India) as the name goes was once a hub of the government run dairy business and spread over approximately 1400 hectares of land. Over the years the dairy business has been closing down and there are a number of demands to put the land to alternate uses. Over the past two decades the demographics and land use of Mumbai has changed enormously. There was a time where there was less population and economic activity in the suburbs but now the area between Bandra and Borivali along the Western Express Highway corridor has been developed and urbanised very heavily. Thousands of new residential and commercial buildings and complexes have been added in this belt making it one of the most densely populated and congested area in Mumbai, with traffic jams and other associated problems increasing rapidly. The corridor has in a sense exhausted its carrying capacity and cannot take further development without conditions getting worse.

In this scenario the SGNP (Sanjay Gandhi National Park of Borivli) - Aarey (of Goregaon) corridor of Wild Animals have suffered a lot too.

 Have a Look at this Video to understand the SGNP – Aarey Wildlife Corridor predicament

YouTube: - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_eNEQwJKm8

We request you to hereby to consider following points, which will go long way to protect / encourage BIO-Diversity of SGNP - Aarey Milk Colony corridor: -

Recommendations for Aarey Milk Colony: (Basis study detailed research conducted)

Link to the complete report: - http://mumbaikarsforsgnp.com/docs/final_report_mumbaikars_for_SGNP_project.zip

1) It is imperative that the colony enjoys a higher protection status than as is currently the case, no forest status at all! This will increase the green cover that is so scarce in this city, lead to the protection of its biodiversity and also allow for better management of human leopard interactions.
2) Slums Encroachment needs to be restricted around Aarey Milk Colony periphery. A Task force be created to protect the land from Encroachment.
One of the reports linking Man – Human conflicts to Encroachment: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/camera-trappings-show-sgnp-leopards-frequent-thane-mulund-region/

3) In the past five years, there have been 6 reported run-overs of leopards by speeding vehicles. Speed breakers be installed at regular intervals across main & Internal roads of Aarey Milk Colony.
One of the News reports on this: - http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-biker-hits-leopard-on-aarey-road-1747720


4) Aarey Milk Colony (Aarey Buffer Zone) holds a wide variety of Bio-diversity. We request MCGM to in association with a research body conduct a study on Aarey Biodiversity and then put up permanent boards displaying biodiversity throughout Aarey Milk colony. These installations will also have messages on Anti-Garbage, Anti-Horn, Anti-Spitting & that of Aarey being Eco sensitive zone.

5) Non Commercial Photography to be allowed in Aarey with No charges or No prior permission. PhotoWalks or Nature trails be promoted to Mumbaikars.

6) Kindly let Aarey retain its natural existence. Do not take important green zones under various  projects. Bio-diversity of SGNP-Aarey will further lose important territory.

7) Underpasses be developed for Bio-diversity movement. A Study to be conducted across the Thane Godbunder Road, Aarey SGNP, etc corridors to develop such underpasses.

8) Currently, there are several open areas where garbage is dumped or it clogs the water bodies (Mirza and Sanap 2010).

9) Adequate sanitation measures/toilet facilities & its proper maintenance will mitigate the man-animal conflict to a certain extent

Garbage Plan:- 

a. One Cubic Meter MCGM Bins be placed (basis Save Aarey Community Recommendations & MCMG to start Garbage Van beat across Aarey Milk Colony even on Internal Roads at least once on daily basis. MCMG to prepare quarterly performance report on Aarey Cleanliness and make it available via Internet website in a downloadable format.

b. A Mithi River stream passes through Aarey Milk Colony. MCGM to take steps to clean the stream by regularly deploying machines (JCBs). Report on cleanliness to be part of the Quarterly Aarey Cleanliness report that MCMG will prepare. 

d. Near Garbage Bins installation, Toilet facilities be constructed by Aarey & regular maintenance be done by MCGM. MCMG in its quarterly performance report to also record feedback of citizens & residents on Toilet Maintenance. PM Narendra Modi has emphasized the need of Sanitation facilities for Indians.

10) There is a Natural Green Herbage Lotus / Water Lily pond in Aarey (near NZ Hostel). The same houses nesting of rare migratory birds such as Little Grebes. Also of Whistling ducks. It is one of the few areas where you can see spot billed ducks & cormorants also. SWIMMING OR PLUCKING WATER LILYS from THIS POND SHOULD BE BANNED. FINE should be levied on defaulters. 

Location of Pond: Junction of Road from Britannia dairy & NZ Hostel Road

 We hope the Government of Maharashtra will show its commitment to the Aarey – SGNP Corridor for Bio diversity. The Government of Maharashtra under your leadership can set an example for rest of the country w.r.t environmental protection / encouragement.

Thanks & Rgds,

More Information: -

1.     www.saveaarey.org

2.     http://www.mumbaikarsforsgnp.com/

3.     http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/nov/26/leopards-mumbai-life-death-living-ghosts-sgnp

4.     http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/india-after-tigers-now-leopard-numbers-said-have-dropped-by-80-100-years-1495075

5.     http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Green-Warriors-Fight-to-Preserve-Waning-Mumbai-Biodiversity/2015/03/25/article2728990.ece

6.     Leopards Human can Co-exist:-

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/leopards-humans-can-co-exist-study/15776196

7.     More about Indian Leopards: - http://www.projectwaghoba.in



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