We had a good visit to the Aarey Metro Depot site today.
About 10 Tree Authority Corporators & 2 Experts visited.
Some of the Tree Authority members requested one of us to show them around, so they could hear public’s point of view too.
Initially Metro Authority members refused to allow any member of the public to accompany the Tree Authority members.
Some Tree Authority members pointed out that their visit was due only to public outcry & that if public were not permitted, they too would leave.
Remember, Over a lakh of you had sent mails and more than 2000 people in October 2018 and 700 in July 2019 came personally to object
Only then did Metro Authorities (MMRCL) relent & allowed us to accompany the Tree Authority members for their visit.
We were able to show them the flood plains, filled up with mud, with some trees buried/killed under 10-15 feet of mud. (It is the duty of the tree authority to make sure this doesn’t happen. But sadly none of them visited the site ever before)
We were able to show them the 5 Ha area, which Govt had directed mmrcl to keep untouched & where mmrcl is directed to preserve the trees, which area was also filled up with mud, with some trees buried inside & structures built over.
We were able to show them one corner of the densely forested plot (which we could not even go inside as it was so thick!!!).
When asked, what should such an area be called, one Tree Authority expert member agreed that this is a Forest, till he was asked to keep quiet by some other person. 🤐
Some Tree Authority member asked why all trees can be transplanted. We offered to show them the shoddy transplantation by mmrcl, where even trees like pipal & banyan have died (which normally survive anywhere).
It was good that the TA members walked around the plot & saw the ground situation for themselves.
They listened to what we had to say patiently.
After the visit was completed the Tree Authority members (from Shiv Sena, Congress & Nationalist Congress Party) met the public who were waiting outside and assured the public that Aarey will be saved.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed 🤞🏻
A Big Thank You to the Tree Authority for taking the time & trouble to listen to the Aarey cause.🙏🏻
– Zoru Bhathena, Activist- Aarey Conservation Group