Mumbai: The Scheduled Tribes (ST) cell of the Congress will Sunday hold a protest against the zoo that is proposed to be set up inside the Aarey Milk Colony in suburban Goregaon. Former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam and other party leaders will take part in the protest, to be held at the proposed site of the zoo. Accusing the Maharashtra government of forcing commercial development in Aarey Colony, a green zone, in the name of Metro rail project and now the zoo, Nirupam said, "The truth is that the government is trying to open the only green lungs in the city for the builders."
"First, the government denotified 33 acres of land for Metro III car depot as against the requirement of only three acres. Now, it wants to use a bigger chunk of land in the name of the zoo. Today, the government is talking about zoo, tomorrow there will be hotels, malls and residential projects. We will not let this happen," he said. Earlier this month, the state government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for transfer of 100 acres of land for the world-class zoo. This zoo will be an extension of the existing facility at Byculla in central Mumbai. Among other things, it will have a jungle safari and breeding centre for endangered species, such as the Great Indian Bustard.