OpinionPolitics

Dear Bollywood, You travel in private jets, and a common man shouldn’t even dream of a quick and safe commute! Hypocrisy ‘Film City’ level!!

Few days back, a teenager Greta Thunberg, accused world leaders of speaking about economic growth, and from a global platform she asked ‘How dare you?’

And overnight she became a blue eyed wonder for the liberal brigade. Now it is being said that she has been chosen by an AI for the task.

Now all the ‘Glam celebrities’ who take out candle march in an complete make up look and so called ‘OOTD’ – outfit of the day are busy tweeting to save ‘Aarey forest’. Yes forest need to be saved but at what cost? And when an alternative measure has already been taken up why such hue and cry on the matter? These celebrities never talk about are the precious lives lost due to unavailability of public transport in Mumbai.

Speaking about Carbon footprint, It is a known fact that these film stars lead lives producing very high carbon footprint.

Large farm houses, travel in private jets, parties at foreign destinations and use of diesel-guzzling SUVs are common among all and all these activities emit carbon and harmful gases that deteriorate not just the local environment but even the ozone layer that protects all species on Earth.

These celebrities and some elite of Mumbai are opposing this Mumbai metro shed at the southern border of Aarey but they never opposed the creation of the Film City in 490 acres of land deep inside Aarey Colony bordering the ecologically vital Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Nor the elite ever opposed the establishment of townships with premium villas beside this very same Film City.

This is what ‘Bollywood Hypocrisy’ looks like.

So what is the issue with Aarey forest? What measures have MMRC has taken?

Ashwini Bhide, serving as Managing director of MMRC has cleared the matter in an interview.

Mumbai Metro line-3 will carry 17 lakh passengers every day and thereby take 6.5 lakh vehicle trips off the road which will reduce 2.61 lakh Tons CO2 pollution every year.

If the same amount of pollution is to be reduced just by planting trees, Mumbai would need more than 2 cores trees for which there is no space in the city.

The temporary strain on the environment caused by cutting of 2700 trees at Aarey Milk Colony in terms of CO2 , will be compensated just by 4 days of Metro Line 3 train operations and lifetime damage will be compensated by 80 days of Metro Line 3 train operations.

Besides 461 out of 2700 trees will transplanted in the vicinity and 13,000 more trees will freshly planted which will substantially mitigate the impact.

There are 3,691 trees in the Car Depot land out of which 1,045 are being saved and retained by MMRC. Out of the remaining 2,646 trees, 461 trees are to be transplanted in the nearby plot as per the Tree Authority’s direction.

MMRC has already planted 23,846 good quality of plant of native variety like Sita Ashok, Kadamb, Arjun, Kanchan etc. which are in very good condition for past 2 years.

The State Govt in Forest Dept has made it very clear in their Affidavit before High Court as well as NGT that Aarey is not a forest land.

Besides Ministry of Environment has declared it as an Eco Sensitive Zone in Dec-2016 which amounts to be the buffer zone of Borivali National Park.

It is interesting to know that out of total 1287 Hectares land of Aarey Milk Colony, the tree cover is limited to 25% land only and rest of the land is under roads, buildings, cattle farms, grass patches etc.

Even within the 30 Hectares land parcel allotted for car depot, only 17% land is under tree cover.

NGOs protesting Save Aarey have neither directly approached MMRC or the State Government nor they have given any representation or shown willingness to understand the issue and discuss their concerns.

They have either approached the media and made their presence on social media or have taken up their issues before various Courts. But strangely they have avoided any direct communication with MMRC or State Govt.

So far, MMRC has planted 14,346 trees with 6”x 12” girth and 12 -15 feet height of native variety and also planted 9,500 trees as per the Forest Department norms under CSR. Thus, total 23,846 trees are planted at different locations including the degraded areas of Borivali National Park.

They are being properly maintained and taken care of and have been surviving nicely for past 2 years.

Film celebrities in Mumbai would rather save 2,200 trees than allow a transport system to be built that can save more than 2,700 human lives every year.

The fact is that they are fine with shooting in Film City that was built over 490 acres deep inside Aarey Colony.

In 2018 alone, 2,734 people died in overcrowded Mumbai suburban trains, that is, seven lives lost on an average everyday.

The hard-working common public in Mumbai are contributing in a big way to nation building, they deserve a fast and safe commuting option.

Perhaps, Mumbai is the only rich mega city in the world without an extensive modern metro transport network.

Measures have already been taken to nullify the affect of trees that are being cut. Let us not ruin a much needed infrastructure development that will not only save human lives but also will control the share of pollution which will in turn have effect on whole world.

And as far as celebrities are concerned, their protests will last till they are paid higher for a new ‘activism’.

 

Source: Ashwini Bhide’s interview to Indiaexpose.


Dr.Sindhu Prashanth

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