Mumbai’s Aarey declared Reserve Forest

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday declared around 800-acres of land in Mumbai’s Aarey as reserve forest. He also said that the construction of the controversial car shed for a Metrorail project in the area would be shifted to Kanjurmag. 

It is to be noted that, a huge controversy broke out last year over the proposed car shed in Aarey which led to a bitter row between environmental activists and the then BJP-led Maharashtra government that wanted to cut down 2,700 trees to build the shed.

“This uncertainty over the car shed is over now. Biodiversity in Aarey needs to be protected. There is an 800-acre jungle in an urban set-up… Mumbai has natural forest cover,” CM Thakeray said, adding that the building already constructed in Aarey would be used for some other public purpose.

The Chief Minister also directed the withdrawal of all police cases filed against Aarey protesters – a move that was announced in December last year as well. The cases relate to those filed against people who tried to stop the authorities from cutting down the trees.