The land being shifted is barely 6 acres, the larger issues still remain

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As per the latest news, the shift in land acquisition is only for a casting yard for the metro which required approximately six acres of land. The larger metro project still stands and will take over 300 hectares of the forest

Activist say that they are not against the expansion of the metro in Mumbai, but an ecologically sensitive area like Aarey forest, which is a green lung of Mumbai city and works as the largest natural air purifier for the city, cannot be swiped away in the name of development. There are plenty of non residential and industrial locations for the Metro car shed to be constructed but not at the cost of Mumbai’s lungs.

If trees from the Aarey forest are abolished in such huge number, the amount of carbon dioxide in Mumbai city will increase at an alarming state and the level of pollution will also increase multiple times. A study published in The Nature Conservancy says urban trees can remove as much as a quarter of the particulate matter pollution within a few meters, and when planted in the right places, can offer a very effective barrier, filtering unhealthy air and protecting local residents. Moreover, Mumbai city is always flooded during rainy season, the day is not far away when entire Mumbai would be drowned in flood.

The government is raising funds for forestation but who is going to investigate and calculate the survival rate of the transplanted trees. It will take another 5 years for trees to grow mature. While in these 5 years who knows how many more such projects are sanctioned and how many more projects will be sanctioned in coming years.

The NGT should not allow cutting of trees anywhere within the nation in the name of development. We should take lesson from U.S. as great areas are laying Barren.

“Many people are believing that the entire metro car shed project has been shifted, a false narrative is being projected by media reports,” Harshad, a local activist, told NewsClick. “We have been asking for a No Development Zone to be declared for the Aarey Forest and for it to be merged with Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It is important to remember the sheer number of projects that are coming up in the region, this includes the Metro-3 Car Shed project, the SRA scheme, the Metro Bhavan and the RTO scheme. So, while this decision by the MMRDA is significant, there is a long battle ahead. The casting yard was just one project. The forest is still at the gun point target for the implementation of other developmental projects.

If a huge number of people united raise their voice to fight against deforestation, we can together put pressure on the government officials to reconsider the Metro 3 project as well as all those projects that are being planned to implement at the cost of forests and other non-replenishable natural resources.

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image ref: https://www.newsclick.in/