Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday announced that the state government has decided to declare 600 acres of Aarey land near Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) as a reserve forest. This will be done by applying Section 4 of the Indian Forest Act (IFA) to almost 600 acres of the land.
Aarey comes under the Dairy Development Department, and the Forest and Environment departments.
In November last year, the Maharashtra government decided to stay the construction of the metro car shed in the Aarey Colony as the project faced protests for cutting trees for the work. However, the state government did not halt the work of the Mumbai metro rail project.
In October 2019, Green activists protested against the then BJP-led government in the state for cutting more than 2,000 trees for the car shed in Aarey colony, adjacent to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. At that time, the Shiv Sena, which was an ally of the BJP, opposed the felling of trees.
As soon as the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) made the announcement on Twitter, netizens appreciated the government for its move.
CMO Maharashtra on the micro-blogging site informed, “600 acres of Aarey land near Sanjay Gandhi National Park will be reserved as forests.” It also mentioned that it will be the first time in the world when an extensive forest will be blossoming within the limits of a metropolis.
600 acres of Aarey land near Sanjay Gandhi National Park will be reserved as forests. This will be the first instance of an extensive forest blossoming within the limits of a metropolis anywhere in the world. pic.twitter.com/T1zkgB6WkL— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) September 2, 2020
Responding to the CMO’s tweet, a user heaped praise on Uddhav Thackeray. He mentioned being glad to have got a chief minister like Thackeray.
Thank you being a tradition culture acceptance we would glad Have Cm Like You Who can understand the voice of common citizen staying near ARREY colony .. .@AUThackeray Arrey is Specially For all mumbaikars And each One of Indian— Ravin purohit (@ravin_purohit) September 2, 2020
Another person said that this move should be adopted in every city to protect nature, calling it a good initiative.
Here are some more reactions:
Thank u 🙏 u r a man of ur word u proved it. Mumbaikars will remember you in the future as the CM who saved r forests & saved Mumbai from ecological disaster.Along with the 600 acres hope d rest of 3400 acres also will b included in d other phases & real estate is kept out— rups (@rupapp) September 2, 2020
Forest is absolutely essentiall for the maintenance of atmosphere especially in the metropolis area where there is lack of trees also flora and fauna very impt thing,it acts as a controller of upcoming natural disasters as flood, It helps in bringing rain where by helping farmars— Nisar Ahmed 17 (@17_nisar) September 2, 2020
However, some Tweeple also raised concerns over the delay of the metro project and “wastage of taxpayers money.”
“What will happen to the metro car shed. Again thousands of trees will be cut at the proposed new place. Delay in the project and huge cost escalation and passing FSI benefit to real estate builders,” said a netizen.
What will happen to metro car shed . Again thousands of trees will be cut at proposed new place . Delay in the project and huge cost escalation and passing FSI benefit to real estate builder.— Sanjay Deshpande (@SanjayD51350565) September 3, 2020
How will you complete Mumbai Metro Line 03.What is your ideas?When will you complete it? Please answer these questions?Last but not least, how will you make provision of funds?It is egoism https://t.co/VcH6MgSZ0w will merit to your son & demerit to Mumbaikar.— Nitin K Pathak (@nitinkpathak5) September 2, 2020
A person also asked a question on how and when will the metro project be completed. He asked the government about how funds will be arranged for it.