Mumbai : The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday carried out a rally at Aarey colony in Goregaon to protest against the proposed Metro car shed, which will displace the native aadivasis and will uproot more than 2,200 trees. However, the party is yet to take a stand on the BMC’s draft development plan which envisages an economic and growth hub in the 1,009 hectare green cover.
After Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray took up the cudgels against the hacking of trees at Aarey recently, it was the AAP’s turn to jump on to the ‘Save Aarey’ bandwagon. The party has already announced its intentions to contest the BMC polls in 2017 which is currently being held by the Shiv Sena. The state BJP has been pushing for reforms to maintain its pro-development image and has strongly been supporting the Metro project which is being opposed by the Sena and other parties, not to mention green activists.
A rally was organised by AAP from Aarey check naka to the Metro yard on Sunday evening which saw the participation of thousands of locals and even native aadivasis. Street plays, music and dance performances on the issue of displacement were organised to spread the message of saving Aarey. A number of celebrities also joined in.
“We are not against development of the city. But our only demand is that the Metro car shed be moved to some other area like the Mumbai Port Trust not only for the sake of the trees but also for the sake of the aadivasis. Nobody ever takes them into consideration… It is their home and livelihood after all. Besides, even if they are successful in transplanting the trees, it will definitely take away from the green cover of the city since they will be transplanted elsewhere. Then what is the point?” asked Mayank Gandhi, convenor of AAP.