Sunday, June 11, 2017

2 years before Metro shed plan, govt termed Aarey as forest in 2012

Times of India: Rizwan Mithawala: Mumbai: Sunday, June 11, 2017.
While the state has informed the National Green Tribunal that only 76 hectares (or 187 acres) of Aarey is forest, the 2012 Management Plan of Sanjay Gandhi National Parksays all of Aarey is an unclassed forest.
The Management Plan for Sanjay Gandhi National Park for 201323, accessed by the NGO Vanashakti, says 20 sqkm or 4,942 acres from Aarey Colony was transferred to the forest department in 1969. The forest department has all throughout maintained that Aarey is not a forest and has been used for non-forest activities since 1949. The NGT is hearing the plea to declare Aarey colony as an eco-sensitive zone. The Metro III was announced in 2014. In the same year, MMRDA was given 30 hectares for the Metro car shed.
The plan, prepared by the state forest department in 2012, lists 'Aarey Gate or Elephant Gate' in the south-west as one of the four entry gates of SGNP . It further states that in 1969, the Greater Mumbai Milk Scheme transferred the 18km-long cement concrete road from Aarey to Borivli to the state forest department, including the approach roads to Kanheri Caves and the Gandhi Memorial.