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Last Updated 12.11.2019 | 9:39 AM IST
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The Aarey/Film city forest-areas to be reduced to 14 percent; Bollywood reacts



Shabana Azmi: “Mumbai is crying out for open spaces. These forested areas are the lungs of the city. The new development plan concentrates on construction volumes driven by builders without supporting structures and infrastructures. Open spaces and affordable housing are the crying need of the hour. To sacrifice Aarey is a recipe for disaster.”


Hansal Mehta: “My Bombay is being plundered by pimps passing off as the administration.”


Amole Gupte: “The city requires its lungs. Otherwise we’re headed for pulmonary collapse.”


Suparn Varma: “Aarey is the last green lung left in the suburbs of Mumbai. The government plans to axe 2500 trees to construct a Metro depot when there is BPT land available just 1.5 kms away at Marol. They want to displace the entire animal kingdom to make a theme-park. To destroy an eco-system to build a park is the worst idea in the history of ideas. Playing up to the builders’ lobby again they gave away acres to Royal Palms, and now this. I just want to know what they’ll do with all this money when everybody is dead.”


Pooja Bedi: “I understand development is crucial. But so is the environment. For every tree that is cut 5 should be planted. The quality of space is more important than the quantity. We need whatever is left of these places to be beautified and to become tourist havens we can be proud of.”


Vishal Dadlani: “I honestly can’t understand what logic our so-called leaders are using. There is a disused rail-yard less than 2 kms away from the site of the proposed plunder. As the saying goes, ‘When the last tree has been cut down and the last drop of water wasted, humanity will realize too late that we can’t eat money.”


Kalki Koechlin: “This is very sad. There is very little greenery in Mumbai. Whatever forest areas remain should be protected.”


Babul Supriyo (the Minister of state for uban development): “The area being as iconic as it is, there are bound to be opinions on the pros and cons. But the authorities must have good reasons behind the decision. I stand by it.”


Environmentalist Bittu Saigal : “Somehow the guys who profit from the destruction of public assets manage to hoodwink the long-suffering into believing that the short-term “gain” from ten jobs, one extra flyover, or a widened road, will dramatically enhance their lives. In truth, it takes three times longer to reach from Nariman Point to the airport, as compared to a decade ago. This in spite of our spending 30,000 crores on sea links, flyovers and roads. Other mega-cities have successfully reduced traffic congestion by improving public transport, enhancing parking fees, creating multi-story parking, together with attractive, green walking-paths where the norm is birdsong, not traffic pollution and noise. I can see through the arrogance, ignorance, avarice and apathy that characterize not just city-planning, but national planning. First the crony-capitalists make money by destroying public assets, then they lobby with decision makers so ONLY those solutions (flyovers, coastal roads) are accepted that further enrich them. India is passing through “jiski lathi uski bhains” times and it galls that good people seem unable to staunch the rot.”

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