Mumbai: Thousands of Mumbaikars —schoolkids, college students, youngsters, senior citizens and Adivasis — braved the rain and held another protest against the proposed Metro 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) carshed on Sunday.
The stir turned out to be the mega public gathering, strongly objecting to the construction of depot by felling of trees. The crowd shouted slogans in Hindi “Aarey ko bacha lo, sau dauso jada lo (save Aarey take some money in exchange instead)”.
Contrarily, MMRCL managing director Ashwini Bhide in her recent clarification over rising protests against Aarey carshed, tweeted, “These 3,691 trees in car depot land occupy only 17% of the total 30 hactares.
The rest of the area is under grass. During the monsoon, it looks green. But shades are different. Metro 3 depot work has already started in no-tree area only. #AareyAikaNa.” Several netizens and environmentalist disagreed.
A Twitterati, Baghzaad Bhomisha, tweeted, “Why don’t you get it. Aarey is not just about metro 3, but every other project that is waiting for you to get it.
You need to see the larger picture and not just talk about your needs. Better you get global experts and find engineering solutions instead of easy way out of cutting trees.” Another said, “Lol (laugh out loud). What a joke... 30 hectares of land has grass lol.”
In Sunday’s protest, several held placards and banners showing support for the “Save Aarey” forest cause. A few banners read: “We are not cutting trees, we are cutting our life span,” “You promise green India, keep your promise save Aarey”, “Amazon burned to death, Aarey axed to death”.
Supriya Sule, MP and NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter, and Vidya Chavan legislator, too, joined hands with the agitators. She said, “As a Mumbaikar, I will meet CM Fadnavis on September 12. People are opposing the tree-cutting. The CM should listen to them.”
Sule said NCP has always voted against the tree-felling in the Tree Authority committee. Development must happen, but not at the cost of axing trees.