The Mumbai unit of the Aam Aadmi Party held a protest today against the the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) ongoing construction of a cycle track around Powai–Vihar lakes.
AAP Party leaders and volunteers gathered at Deer Park, with placards and banners expressing their vehement opposition to the project.
AAP Party leaders gathered at Deer Park, with placards and banners expressing their vehement opposition to the project.| FPJ Photo
The AAP says that BMC has chosen to remain ambiguous about the Aegis under which the project has been sanctioned| FPJ Photo
"The project is another concoction of the obnoxious desires of Aditya Thackeray – who has made a habit of treating Mumbai as his personal playground, unbridled by any sense of public responsibility, or environmental welfare," a press release by the party stated.
"The Powai Lake is home to a rich ecological heritage and a fragile ecosystem, made alarmingly more vulnerable by the excessive release of sewage and accumulation of silt – leading to eutrophication, and the subsequent detriment of the flora and fauna, in and around the lake," the release further said.
"Now, the development of the cycle track, at the behest of Aditya Thackeray and the BMC, austerely threatens the survival of the Indian Marsh Crocodiles– a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act. While the BMC has claimed, in their Press Release dated 8th October, that they would use gabion technology to reduce environmental degradation of the lake, they have completely disregarded the dire impact of the project on the crocodiles – who will lose their hatching grounds, and migratory paths between Powai and Vihar Lake, and eventually be wiped out of existence. Trees will inevitably be axed as a part of this implementation," the release said.
The party believes that the track might cause irreversible damage to the environment| FPJ Photo
The release further stated that although citizens have repeatedly been asking for clarifications, the BMC has chosen to remain ambiguous about the Aegis under which the project has been sanctioned, and by whom; and have continued the construction without any due environmental impact assessment (EIA).
"This goes to show that they have no real concern for the calamitous ramifications of the cycle track project, and the project may near completion before the EIA recommendations are even compiled or acted upon," it said further.
The release further condemned Maharashtra Environment and Toursim Minister Aaditya Thackeray for "converting Mumbai into his playground."
“Aditya Thackeray - thanks to his indulgent father, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Uddhav Thackeray - has converted Mumbai into his playground. When he wants penguins, he gets penguins; when he wants a zoo in the middle of Aarey, he gets and zoo; and now, he wants a cycle track around the fragile area between Powai and Vihar Lakes - while the BMC vacillates, and fails to perform the due diligence required before such projects are implemented," said Sumitra Shrivastava, AAP Mumbai Working President.
Meanwhile, the BMC on Friday formed a committee of state environmental experts to discuss the lake’s development and carry out any mitigation measures to ensure that no damage is done to the ecology. The committee of experts is working on a detailed project analysis to handhold the BMC for sustainable construction during and after the project.
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