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News Entry# 288363
  
Dec 12 2016 (10:38)  Citizen groups to protest Aarey Metro car shed (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestMMOPL/Mumbai Metro  -  

News Entry# 288363     
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Posted by: rdb*^  132877 news posts
 
 
Mumbai: As citizens gear up for a massive protest against the upcoming Metro-III car shed inside Aarey Colony’s forested area in Goregaon, environmentalists say the city is headed for a disaster if its green cover is reduced. On Monday, citizens groups will gather near Picnic Point in Aarey to protest the notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change that excludes the Metro III car shed from the development norms for Eco Sensitive Zones (ESZ).“We are not very far from Delhi when it comes to air pollution. Our air quality is already deteriorating, and by taking away the remaining green cover, we are simply heading towards a dangerous future,” said environmentalist Stalin Dayanand, a key member of the Aarey Conservation Group.
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added, “We have been struggling to get government attention for two years. We were actually hopeful that the MoEF will step in and protect the area, but instead, the ministry has given the green signal to destroy it.” Mr. Dayanand said since the draft notification was put up in January, more that 3,000 letters of objection have been sent to the government.
A notification issued by the Union environment ministry last week said an area of 1.65 sq.km. for the Mumbai Metro Rail shed had been excluded from the ESZ. Environmentalist Dr. V. Shubhalaxmi said for an island city, tampering with its forests will only spell disaster. “We are surrounded by sea. What are we expecting if we keep cutting down the green cover?” she said.
Dr Shubhalaxmi said any development activity certainly impacts the environment. “Delhi has better green cover than Mumbai, but we are a witness to how Delhi is suffering. Imagine what our plight will be: we are walking down a tricky path.”
She felt that development is not bad, but alternatives that won’t harm the environment should be considered, a sentiment echoed by Mr. Dayanand. “We are not against the Metro line; we are against its coming up at the cost of Aarey. They should come up with an alternative route,” he said.
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