Mumbai: Environmentalists fume over MMRC’s tall claims of Aarey not having dense forest cover

Mumbai: Environmentalists and experts are fuming and fretting over the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) claim of Aarey Colony being an ‘already commercially exploited land’ and that it does not have ‘any dense forest cover’.

MMRCL had, on Tuesday, made these submissions before the Bombay High Court while defending its decision to construct a car shed for the controversial Metro III line, which connects Colaba-Seepz-Bandra. This comes in an affidavit filed by MMRCL through its chief project manager before a division bench of Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Justice Prakash Naik.

Reji Abraham, a member of the Bombay HC-appointed committee formed in October 2016 to preserve mangroves in Konkan region, which includes Mumbai, said the city has already lost 22 hectares of forest cover from 2013 to 2018.

“People need to understand, this forest area is more than the size of 15 Wankhede Stadiums. If you keep calling each and every green lung as commercial and exploit it, then there will be no future of the city and eventually its dwellers.

Let us face the fact that they only want infrastructural development and have nothing to do with the terrible outcome of it,” said Abraham. Officials from SGNP said Aarey Colony houses virgin species of butterflies which are only seen in that area. “The area houses those trees which attracts around 86 various species of butterflies,” said an official of the national park.

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