A fire broke out in the thicket in Aarey Colony area on Monday afternoon, no casualties reported. Residents and activists however alleged a foul play.
There were no report of any injury or damage to property from the fire that started in the grass near Royal Palms Society and Royal Palms Hotel in Aarey colony, a Mumbai fire brigade official said. "The blaze started around 2:40 pm. The cause is yet unknown," he added.
While the fire highlighted the fragility of the 16 sq km green lung of the city and 12-odd tribal pockets within, it also provided some weight to activists’ claims. According to activists this is not the first time that there has been fire in Aarey colony. There have been many such fire incidents, residents and activists claimed that the fires are a deliberate attempt to destroy the trees in the only green lung of the metropolis.
Director of Vanashakti - Stalin D, on Monday wrote to the forest department, Municipal commissioner of BMC and other authorities highlghting the issue. Stalin in his email stated that there is a deliberate attempt to set of fire in forests and chop trees in Dindoshi hills, Aarey colony. Stalin states that this is a serious cause of concern as there have been multiple incidents like the one on Monday. The activists have called for a punitive and protective action against these incidents.