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City lungs under threat

Friday, February 02, 2018

It is a well-known fact that Mumbai cannot breathe without it's green lungs and has been calling out for intervention against the ruthless felling of tress in Aarey Milk colony in Goregaon.

After several months in which it was revealed that thousands of trees would be axed for the Metro car shed, activists and Save Aarey movement campaigners are now angry with BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta for allegedly 'misusing' his discretionary powers to sanction the cutting, despite a status quo order from the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Mehta, meanwhile, has vehemently denied the allegation, even going on to say that the activists are spreading wrong information.

Documents accessed by an activist and petitioner against Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd's (MMRCL) proposed car depot at Aarey, allegedly show Mehta misusing his powers to sanction the removal of 23 trees at Aarey for the launching shaft of the metro car depot. Post the approval, BMC had also written a letter to MMRCL on December 29, 2017, asking them to go ahead with the tree cutting. Not like the city's air quality and breathing levels have been any great either. Intensified attempts to and reduce the green cover will someday result in the city's asphyxiation. If that's not enough, another 91 more trees are set to be cleared for Dahisar-Andheri East Metro line 7. We are not far away from reaching the kind of unprecedented and staggering pollution levels that have gripped Delhi if we fail to protect our green cover from indiscriminate axing. Given that we are losing so many trees at a rapid pace, trust us it won't any longer be (A)joy!

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