Mumbai: In a growing economy, there are instances of ecological damage and it is a component of development, said Swami Vigyananand, joint general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. He said this in the context of felling of trees in Aarey for the proposed Metro 3 carshed.
Vigyananand was in Mumbai to speak at the World Hindu Economic Forum. When asked his views on Aarey, he said, “In a growing economy, there will be instances of ecological damage. But such tree-cutting should be substituted by afforestation in other areas.”
Further, said the founder and global chairman of the World Hindu Foundation said, “You have to sacrifice somewhere — to make roads congestion-free by cutting trees. You cannot have both — trees and no traffic on roads.”
Citing examples of countries like the United States, New Zealand and others, he said, “They cut trees to support growth and development. But they substitute this tree-cutting with afforestation.” He added that those countries believe in forest agriculture. “They grow trees and then they cut them, like crops.”
He claimed that the green belt in the country should be maintained. To clear space for the proposed carshed of the underground metro, the authorities will have to cut down around 2,700 trees in the Aarey area.