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Don’t oppose development in the name of environment

Aarey Colony Protest, Aarey, Mumbai Metro, metro, Aarey forestThe development wins over quality of life and preservation of environment. Trees are already being chopped down in the dark of the night. The accused were arrested as they held a protest without prior permission and assaulted two constables, including a female constable, who was trying to disperse them. Where was these people and protesters when the discussions for Aarey car shed was going on. Now they are stopping development in the name of trees in the last brink? People should welcome this move and let BMC do their work, rather than showing environment in last minute when discussions are over.

There is no one to be blamed for the Aarey mess as the stand for cutting around 2000 trees was taken in the best interest of development and infrastructure advancement. Passing the buck at this stage is not in good taste. Bombay High Court should have certainly covered a host of issues before giving its judgement, agreeing with the proposal to cut down certain number of trees.  But then, it is the government’s responsibility to make serious attempt to convince the people, the public, as to why the trees need to be cut and why it could not wait till the issue is heard by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It is now or never position and a make or break situation.

Those opposing the Metro car shed at Aarey Colony have accused the government of ignoring the environmental impact of the project. They say the project site is a green lung which absorbs harmful carbon carbon dioxide. The felling of trees is being opposed by green activists and local residents. The letter said Aarey Forest was an unclassified forest and the felling of trees, robbing Mumbai of its green lungs, was illegal. The Bombay High Court had refused to declare Aarey Colony a forest and declined to quash a Mumbai Municipal decision to permit the cutting of the trees for the metro car shed. Restrictions under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure was imposed in the Aarey colony area.

The cutting of trees at the Aarey forest continued through the night of October 4 and into October 5, even as activists and residents of Mumbai reacted with outrage over the government’s decision to start felling in the middle of the night, just hours after the High Court verdict. The handling of the protests by police also came in for criticism with 29 persons arrested early in the morning and nearly 200 others detained through the day.

It is observed that those people who are opposing the felling of trees inside Aarey despite a court directive are showing fascist tendencies. It seems they have no respect for the judiciary and the government and have fascist mentality. The need to cut trees in the night was felt because the government machinery wanted to speed up the project once the court has given its judgement on the matter.

The discussions have happened. NGT, tree authority, activists have all presented their side of views. Based on everything High Court has given judgement. There is nothing undemocratic. Even I don’t want the trees to be cut. But when I see all experts point of view was considered and judgement arrived at, we all should agree and do not create ruckus. The space available in Mumbai is limited and hence for any infrastructure development we have to fore go environment. Mumbai receives, every week, 48 trains from UP and Bihar, the populous states. In Mumbai everyone gets job, makes money, remit home and pull on with Vada Pav. Sparrow is endangered bird in India but not in Mumbai. Finally Mumbai cannot grow horizontally but only vertically.

No doubt, our modern and materialistic life is putting lot of impact on environment by way of cutting trees and deforestation especially during 21st century. Therefore instead of cutting trees, it is better to use state of the art method to extract out tree along with roots and fix somewhere else where it’s use can be taken out to make friendly environment, so as the continuing progress for the society be carried out like laying down metro rails and roads.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)Help Parallel Media, Support Journalism, Free Press, Afternoon Voice

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