A group of activists staged a demonstration on Sunday to oppose the construction of a Metro car shed in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony and shouted slogans against the Maharashtra government’s decision to go ahead with the project.
The protestors carried banners with messages like “save Aarey forest”, and raised slogans on the need to fight against handing over the area to builders.
They said Aarey is a forest comprising wildlife and adivasis (tribals) and appealed to stop the destruction of the forest in the name Metro car shed.
Environmentalists have warned that not only leopards, but many other animals and birds face the threat of losing their habitat and lives.
The construction of Metro car shed at Aarey, a forested land adjoining the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, was one of the first decisions reversed by the Eknath Shinde government formed on June 30 this year.
Last month, former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had fervently appealed to the new government “not to stab Mumbai in its heart” by going ahead with the construction of the car shed at Aarey.
After the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance came to power in 2019, the then CM Uddhav Thackeray had reversed the previous decision, shifting the Metro-3 car shed to a site in the Kanjurmarg eastern suburb, but it was embroiled in a legal dispute.
The Thackeray government had also declared Aarey as a reserved forest.
Recently, CM Shinde and Fadnavis in their first cabinet meeting overturned the Thackeray-led government’s decision.
On August 30, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited launched the trial run of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line-3 at Sariput Nagar in the Aarey Colony.