1,000 signatures reached
To: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis; Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, MMRCL
Save Aarey Forest - Mumbai’s Green Lungs
Nearly 2,700 trees in Mumbai’s Aarey forest, Mumbai's green lungs, are under threat by a proposed car shed by Mumbai Metro.
We demand that Aarey forest be left alone, and that Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited(MMRCL) consider alternate locations for the metro car shed.
Why is this important?
On April 15, the Supreme Court dismissed an application filed by Aarey Conservation Group seeking alternative sites for the Metro car shed proposed to come up at Aarey Colony. The bench said that alternative options had been looked into and found unviable by MMRCL and a state-appointed technical committee.
Congress candidate Sanjay Nirupam, under whose constituency comes the Aarey area, has promised that he will not let the trees be hacked for the Metro project if the party comes to power.
For over three years now, environmentalists from various organisations, along with activists, students and citizens, 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. Over a 100 trees have already been chopped.
An 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, MMRCL is determined to fell thousands of trees for a metro car shed.
Aarey forest is 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 MMRCL went ahead 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 works, and lakhs of us need to rally together to save Mumbai's last remaining green cover!