Can’t sacrifice trees at the altar of progress

Apr 15, 2019 | Mid-day

The entire scenario throws light on the perpetual tug of war between environment and development. This time though it is amplified because of the upcoming elections in Mumbai slated for April 29.

First published here: https://www.mid-day.com/articles/cant-sacrifice-trees-at-the-altar-of-progress/20746169

One of the most contentious issues in Mumbai has been all the development works on for Metro III and different projects in the city. Green warriors are fighting pitched battles with the ante up of late, thanks to all the ongoing work, In fact, the Coastal Road, Metro network and other projects have become focal issues in the election campaigns in Mumbai. In SoBo, political candidates are facing questions about trees going to be sacrificed for the Coastal Road. A swathe of residents and work space owners in south Mumbai are in furious debate about which political party is going to save their buildings and themselves from being evicted because of the port trust development promised in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, fire temples, too, are in focus with the Metro line passing below them and the Parsi community up in arms against development that allegedly threatens their place of worship. The entire scenario throws light on the perpetual tug of war between environment and development. This time though it is amplified because of the upcoming elections in Mumbai slated for April 29.

With environment playing key roles in this debate, we must pay special attention to a report in this paper where ongoing concretisation and landscaping work in Matunga’s Western Railway (WR) colony is posing a threat to its trees and plants, according to a resident. The ongoing work is to make space for parking vehicles.

Take cognisance of this concretisation and if it is threatening the trees, act on this at once. The BMC must check the validity of the claims and if there is merit in them, then there must be a stop work. There is little use acting after the trees are dead. Every single tree must mean a lot in a city devoid of green. Don’t let the small number or ‘this is a trivial issue’ argument camouflage the importance of fighting for this. This is a concrete jungle and every leaf counts.

 

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