On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government finally planned to declare 600 acres of land in Aarey Milk Colony near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai as a reserve forest. With the increasing rate of deforestation in our country, this was highly recommended and they’ve initiated on conserving it as well.

Source: mid-day.com

Who commenced this plan?

All thanks to Maharashtra’s CM Uddhav Thackeray who claims that this would be the first, “extensive forest blossoming” inclined to the limits of a metropolis anywhere in and around the world.  He put forward his plan in a meeting occurring with Sanjay Rathod (Forest Minister), Eknath Shinde (Urban Development Minister), Sanjay Kumar (Chief Secretary), according to the Press trust of India.

Added to that, the government of Maharashtra also stated; after seeking suggestions from the fellow citizens the area to be excluded from the forest would be worked on.

Also, from the first phase of the initiative, construction of “all types, roads & bridges, slum places, adivasi pockets and government facilities”, would be excluded.

 

Aadithya Thackery (Maharashtra cabinet minister) also tweeted that the Phase 2 survey for additional open/ forest land in Aarey, post Phase 1 will begin soon. This would help the State protect the flora & fauna existent in SGNP and Aarey, as mentioned below-

 

Logistics-

  • Under section 4 the government has marked to constitute the land as a reserve forest.
  • Phase 1 includes rehabilitation of the slums within the area which would be happening asap, this means 1/5 of the colony land will come under the reserve forest category.
  • The rights of Adivasi communities will stand protected as approximately 600 acres of open land would be declared as forest.
  • After the initial phase, the authorities will undertake a survey for additional open or forest land in Aarey in the second phase of the project, as it would be helpful to protect the flora and fauna.

Location of this place-

The 600 acres of land; Aarey Milk Colony is near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai. And Mumbai being a densely populated city on India’s west coast needed this desperately. Being called as the biggest city in India, it had to include something that makes it unique from the others.

 

Contoversy of metro car shed project-

As, Uddhav Thackeray just after coming into charge in 2019, made an announcement that he ordered a stay on the car shed project for the Mumbai Metro in Aarey Colony.

But now, as the whole colony is being spread for over large acres. But previously, there was a stark uproar over the cutting of 3,000 trees for the proposed metro car shed project approved by the previously adjourned BJP government, which being the main controversy here, they decided that the metro car shed project won’t be part of this reserve forest.

 

The controversy linked to Aarey forest did strike lot of public outrage a while back, but hope that this plan initiated by the Government of Maharashtra now fixes the loss of habitat, flora and fauna that the last forest uprooting brought, and just not bounded to their state certainly.