Why did Uddhav Thackeray decide to declare 600-acre land in Aarey colony as a reserve forest?


Team Udayavani, Sep 4, 2020, 9:23 AM IST

The Maharashtra government on September 2 decided to declare 600-acre land parcel in the Aarey Milk Colony near Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) as a reserve forest

According to an official statement, The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who said, the forest would be the first example of a “huge jungle” being conserved at the centre of a megapolis

Also, Constructions of all types, roads, slums, Adivasi pockets and government facilities will be excluded from the first phase of the initiative. Further, the slums within the area will be rehabilitated immediately.

However, The reserved land parcel does not include the land on which the controversial car shed for the 33.5 km-long Colaba-Bandra-Seepz corridor was expected to come up.

According to Indian Express, Thackeray had appointed a committee to look into the Aarey forest issue. In their report submitted in January, the Committee pointed out there was no viable alternative for the car shed. Also, finding a new plot would lead to massive cost overruns and delays.

In order to avoid the backlash from environmentalists, he decided to notify a part of Aarey forest. However, Shiv Sena claims that it has taken steps to improve the quality of life in Mumbai.

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