Environment activists and citizen volunteers of the 'Save Aarey' movement have now written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urging him to shift the proposed Metro Bhavan building to the Kanjurmarg plot, where the proposed metro carshed will be shifted.
In the letter to Thackeray, environmentalists said that the proposed site for Metro Bhavan is on the plot wherein the tributaries of the Oshiwara River flow through. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was concretising this tributary to Oshiwara but left it half way last year. Now the land is with MMRDA.
"The construction of the Metro Bhavan will destroy an important ecosystem thereby causing flooding and damage to life and property" stated the letter.
The idea of building the Metro Bhavan was proposed in 2016. The bhoomipoojan of the plot was done last year and in July 2020, a public hearing took place about the matter. Currently, MMRDA officials are surveying the land and trees are being marked.
The citizens pointed out that the decision of the public hearing is yet to be out and in the meanwhile, the MMRDA has already marked 163 trees.
"We have written the letter out of urgency because the state government is announcing one plan after another. Building the Metro Bhavan on the surveyed plot at Aarey will harm the environment severely," environmentalist Amrita Bhattacharjee told FPJ. The letter has been signed by Bhattacharjee and she stated, nearly 20 signatories have signed the letter.
Recently, the state government had built two cemeteries and one crematorium at the Aarey forest. The local tribal claimed, it was only after building of these cemeteries and the crematorium, water logging developed at the Aarey forest.
"Waterlogging didn't happen in the Aarey forest even during the July 2005 rains" stated a tribal.
"The Metro Bhavan is just an administrative building, it could be built easily on top of the Kanjurmarg carshed. The state has already declared Aarey to be a forest area and now there's no point of constructing a building inside the forest" stated Bhattacharjee.