Mumbai: 150 cyclists rally to save Aarey Colony


By B. Chatterjee

The verdant Aarey Colony was dotted with close to 150 cyclists early on Saturday morning. Converging at the spot from Andheri, Vikhroli to as far as Thane, they formed a chain protesting against the felling of 2,298 trees for the proposed Metro 3 car shed.

This was a joint effort by Save Aarey group and cycling clubs of Mumbai and saw the participation of residents, celebrities and environmental activists. “There is a 45-km range within Aarey that is untouched. We have gathered here to save this place from being commercialised,” said Manish Sethi, organiser of the cycle rally.

The group’s fight to protect the 3,100-acre area, coupled with protests from political parties, has drawn scores of people over the past month. The motive is to make the green lung a ‘buffer zone just like Sanjay Gandhi National Park’ and ‘immediate suspension of any activity towards damaging of trees’.

Biju Augustine, a member of the group, said, “As per the rule book of the Tree Authority, 80% of the trees found here cannot be transplanted. Earlier, 560 trees were transplanted to JVLR but majority of them did not survive.” More info and photos