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HomeTop NewsAAP opposes the construction of RTO Shed in Mumbai's Aarey

AAP opposes the construction of RTO Shed in Mumbai’s Aarey

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aarey forest, aarey, aap, aam aadmi party
Mumbai: Workers cut-down trees for the Metro car shed project in the Aarey colony of Mumbai, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Environment activists are agitating against the act. (PTI Photo/Mitesh Bhuvad) (PTI10_5_2019_000136B)

The Aam Aadmi Party Mumbai on Monday expressed its vehement opposition to the construction of an RTO shed in the Aarey forests, for which a tender notice has been issued by the Public Works Department (Tender Notice no. 22 for 2021-22). The Aarey forest is the shared natural heritage of 1.5 crores Mumbaikars. 

Not only is Aarey the largest catchment area for groundwater percolation in Mumbai, but also is the source of two of Mumbai’s rivers – namely, the Oshiwara and the Mithi. It is also a hotspot teeming with biodiversity and Schedule 2 species as defined in the Wildlife Act 1972. It may be recalled that the Aarey movement was a city-wide movement having support from across the spectrum. The Aam Aadmi Party has been at the forefront of the movement to save the forest.

The Office of Executive Engineer, PWD Special Projects division, Public Works Department, Government of Maharashtra has invited tenders through Notice No. 22 for 2021-22, for an RTO shed to be constructed in Aarey. As mentioned, Aarey is a designated forest, an environmentally sensitive zone, and a green buffer zone. The above-mentioned construction activity is simply impermissible given the sensitive ecology of the area. 

“Mumbai has ample land which can be used for whatever purposes the government deems fit; we cannot allow the government to encroach on the forest land for any purposes whatsoever. We urge the Chief Minister and the Maharashtra Government to withdraw the tender to construct the RTO shed at the earliest, failing which, we will be compelled to start an on-ground agitation,” said Preeti Sharma Menon, National Executive Member of AAP.

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