The GPS census will 
include the trees inside Aarey  Colony (above).
The GPS census will include the trees inside Aarey Colony (above).

Mumbai: The approval given by the tree authority for chopping 2,702 trees in Aarey colony for clearing way for the metro carshed lat week, has caused much anger among citizens and activists. The permission was granted in the meeting headed by the civic chief, Pravin Pardeshi.

A dossier was handed over to all the members, which also included the technical expert report had cautioned, if the forest land in Aarey were to be reclaimed, it will have dangerous repercussions, especially flooding of the international airport.

“If the Aarey is concretised, excess rain water will run off into Mithi, leading to flooding of the international Mumbai airport."

This technical committee included Director of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Dr Rakesh Kumar and professor, Shyam Asolekar had clearly stated the serious consequences of felling trees.

They had clearly stated the flood situation in suburbs would get worse due to concretisation of the forest area. All the 19 members were given this report two days prior to the tree authority meeting.

One would have expected the corporators and tree authority members to have at least read this report. It does seem caution was thrown to the winds and the dangers were ignored and immediately after the incessant rains on September 4, the danger sounded by Kumar and Asolekar seemed to have come true.

In their report Kumar and Asolekar had stated the proposed carshed for metro 3 is in the catchment area of Mithi river. "If the land is reclaimed then the capacity to hold the rain water would get saturated,” the report said.

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Free Press Journal