Mumbai: 'Save Aarey' supporters, upset over Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan's tweet praising the metro, staged a silent protest outside his bungalow in Juhu on Wednesday. These silent agitators held banners and placards which said, 'Save Aarey', 'Gardens do not make forests' to express anguish against Bachchan.
On Tuesday, Bachchan had tweeted, "Friend of mine had a medical emergency, decided to take METRO instead of his car .. came back very impressed .. said was faster, convenient and most efficient .. Solution for Pollution ..Grow more trees .. I did in my garden .. have you."
Although the tweet was general and did not refer to the ongoing public outcry over the proposed Metro 3 carshed in Aarey, which requires the axing of more than 2,000 trees, environmentalists expressed their anguish.
The tweet was applauded by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) Managing Director Ashwini Bhide and this added fuel to the ongoing burning issue.
Until 8pm on Wednesday, Bachchan's tweet had been retweeted by 4,135 netizens and liked by more than 43,500. Twitterati also criticised Bachchan. Zoru Bhathena, a petitioner challenging the decision of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's Tree Authority in Bombay High Court tweeted,
"Dear MMRDAOfficial, I hear you are looking for plots for constructing casting yards for your various METRO projects.Would SrBachchan's garden suffice? I think you'll will find the area suitable for your needs... and I am sure he would happily oblige too. " In another tweet, Bhathena also asked Bachchan to visit Aarey and understand the reality.
He tweeted, "Dear Sr.Bachchan Would request you to leave the protection of your Garden & join our friends waiting for u outside. Sir, let us take you for a visit to Aarey It will change your perception Sir.When will you join us Sir Aarey is waiting #SaveAareyForest #SaveAareySaveMumbai."