By Ranjeet Jadhav www.mid-day.com
While most of the nation was glued to the television during the India-Pakistan cricket match on Sunday morning, over 400 Mumbaikars chose to gather in Aarey Milk Colony instead, where they staged a silent demonstration against the proposal to cut 2,298 trees to make space for Metro line III’s car depot.
Not only was the turnout beyond expectations, especially considering the World Cup match, but the cause also seemed to have gained political currency with parties such as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), whose members also participated in the protest.
The protest came days after it was revealed that the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) allegedly lied to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in its Environmental Impact Assessment report while seeking loans worth almost R5,000 crore. The report said there was “no wildlife” at the car depot site, despite leopards and other animals being sighted in the vicinity (‘Did MMRC lie to get Rs 5,000 from Japan for Metro?’, mid-day, February 12).
The protest was organised by the group Save Aarey Milk Colony, and participants marched from Picnic Point to the proposed site for the Metro car depot nearby. More info