Save Aarey Forest - Mumbai’s Green Lungs
For the past three years, environmentalists from Vanshakti, along with a few activists and students, have been putting up a tough fight to protect Aarey forest and safeguard our future. However, now these green crusaders have been barred from entering the location where the work for the metro car shed has already begun.
A recent air quality measurement by System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) found Mumbai’s Air Quality Index to be at 244 (‘poor’) -- higher even than Delhi which fell from 204 to 183 (‘moderate’). In fact, PM2.5 levels in Mumbai, recorded at 109, were almost twice the safe limit.
It is a well known fact that green cover in cities can help tackle rising air pollution -- The Nature Conservancy’s study reports how urban trees can remove up to a quarter of PM pollution within a few meters, and can even function as a barrier for local residents, filtering bad air.
When government officials and citizens all over the world are investing in tree plantation drives to tackle air pollution and climate change, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) is determined to fell 3,500 for a metro car shed.
The Aarey forest is a part of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and supports an entire ecosystem of its own, with a rich biodiversity. An ecosystem like this takes hundreds of years to build up, and cannot be re-planted over night.
We are not against the expansion of the metro in Mumbai, but an ecologically sensitive area like Aarey forest, which functions are the largest natural air purifier for the city, cannot be cleared for the metro car shed. 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. The MMRC has gone ahead with the project without waiting for the National Green Tribunal to pass its verdict on declaring Aarey as a forest.
We need your support to let CM Fadnavis know that breathing clean air is our right.
If enough people lend their voice to our fight for clean air, we can put pressure on the CM to relocate the metro car shed.
People power has worked before, and we know it will work again!
India Times https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/increasing-tree-cover-in-mega-indian-cities-can-help-reduce-particulate-matter-and-temperatures-264763.html
Hindustan Times -
The Hindu - http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/residents-move-hc-over-metro-shed-at-aarey/article19848519.ece