Year: 2018

After ruining farmers, govt intent on destroying fishers, not to mention marine wildlife.

After ruining farmers, govt intent on destroying fishers, not to mention marine wildlife.

29th December 2018

National Fishworkers Forum Rejects Cabinet Approval
for Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ] Notification 2018

The Government is Bent on Selling Off the coast to Corporate and Business Houses And Eliminate Small Scale Fishing Communities from the Coast

The Government of India, by giving the cabinet approval to the Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ] Notification 2018, has turned a deaf ear to the protests and objections raised by the thousands of fishing communities, concerned organisations and individuals from all around the coast and the country. The sole purpose of the Government of India in drafting and approving the CRZ 2018 Notification has been to pave way to further sell off our coastal land and water to corporate and business houses by removing restrictions on constructions and activities detrimental to coastal natural resources.

The objections submitted by the NFF and fishing communities indicated what the country stands to lose should the CRZ 2011 notification be superseded by the draft CRZ 2018 notification. It was clearly stated that the CRZ 2011 notification continue to be diluted. The CRZ 2011 process guaranteed not only environmental protection and livelihood security, but also was a reminder of the robust democratic processes and engagements it followed in its implementation. As such it provides a comparison to the shoddy, non-consultative, anti-fishworker process of the draft CRZ 2018. The implementation of the CRZ 2011 remains far from satisfactory. While the failure to implement the CRZ 2011 rests squarely with the MoEFCC and the State Governments, the relevance of CRZ-2011 is still high. While this being the reality, the Cabinet turned a blind eye to this, went ahead and apporved the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2018.

The intentions of this government is very clear through the salient features indicated in the CRZ Notification 2018 which looks at handing over the coasts to the corporates and the tourism lobby. National Fishworkers Forum calls for nation-wide protests for total withdrawal of CRZ Notification 2018.

Narendra R Patil T Peter
Chairperson General Secretary

HC Order dt 26.10.18 reg Aarey Metro3 Car Depot

The High Court of Mumbai on 26th October 2018  gave the following order.

Click on the link to download.

HC Order dt 26.10.18 reg Aarey Metro3 Car Depot

“We have other material on record which would denote that  the metro car Depot site forms a part of Aarey milk colony and not SGNP.,” the HC judgement said

But citizens have access to papers that show, Aarey Milk Colony land has been returned to SGNP while SGNP says they have no maps to the spread of the park before and after this aera was carved out of it

A walk in the greens of Aarey, A walk towards hope…

A walk in the greens of Aarey, A walk towards hope…

Under the tutelage of Renee Vyas, the Save Aarey group conducted an Aarey Tree Trail on 2nd December, 2018.

I have visited Chhota Kashmir with my grandparents several times before, and why wouldn’t I have? My grandparents, whilst spending their youth in South Mumbai, would travel up here with their friends for picnics – days packed with enjoying each other’s company and cooking food. So naturally, I am, too, very attached to this place. As my grandfather introduced me to the snails residing on huge lily leaves in Chhota Kashmir, he injected his love for conservation of nature into me.

But today, we had the opportunity to see Aarey Forest through a more complex lens.

We started our trail from the gate just opposite to Modern Bakery Bus Stop. Around 80 nature enthusiasts had gathered around and were listening to Vyas’s brief, after which we began walking on a slightly inclined path towards a tekdi. I could hear some murmurs going about how we might get to even see a leopard if we were lucky enough. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), we did not encounter leopards. However, we did see many people enjoying their morning bicycle rides in Aarey. Some were walking their dogs, some others were taking brisk walks – it seemed like they all were here to relax their exhausted souls in the pristine nature of Aarey Forest.

Soon enough, we approached a huge tree with a dark bark called ‘Ratan Gunj’. The tree bears red bead-like seeds in its pods. Along our trail, we came across other trees like Kaate Sawar, Australian Acacia, Aasan and Toddy Palm. We also saw a Banyan Tree, serving as a host to many other trees, completely entangling a Tad palm. We were shown Aghada and Murud Sheng as well, and were informed of their high religious and medicinal value.

Then we took a hike to the top of the tekdi from where we witnessed a breath-taking view of Aarey Forest, as well as the concrete jungle looming over it on its western side. It was disheartening to see that this concrete jungle seemed like it was about to swallow huge morsels of this beautiful forest as it approached it slowly. As we saw the threat with our very eyes, we were informed that the government had planned a Metro III car shed, a new RTO office, another zoo as well some other commercial establishments in this forest!

I could imagine standing here after 10 years, staring aghast at the ‘development’ of this land, remembering the scenery I am honoured to look at today.

Now, the question bubbles up in my mind, who are these people to grab our Aarey Forest and hand it over to the other greedy parties responsible for this destruction? Who has given them the right to destroy our gorgeous environment? These political parties severely lack empathy and connection towards Aarey, and towards Mumbai as a whole. We are the ones who have chosen this government, we are the ones paying taxes to sustain it. It is the government’s responsibility to repay us by providing us with benefits, and not by destroying the very air and water and earth that envelops us. These agencies are not just axing away at trees in Aarey but also at the common people’s health!

-Kaustubh Masurkar

The Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Cell is planning to install a bio-fence to protect the mangroves at Versova

The Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Cell is planning to install a bio-fence to protect the mangroves at Versova

The Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Cell is planning to install a bio-fence to protect the mangroves at Versova, Andheri West

Bio-fence is a natural fence built from shrubs or plants, like cactus or bougainvilla, which act as a natural barrier.

Mangrove isle arial view of a farm at kayamkulam after eight years . Embankment protection of fish ponds with bio fencing. true application of mangroves with benefit to farmer and ecology.

Looking forward to seeing this bio-fencing!
Interestingly, the aftermath of an FIR registered recently against stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma for allegedly destroying mangroves due to illegal construction near his bungalow in Andheri and other similar incidents, the state governments Mangrove Cell swung into action and came up with a project to construct a fence with Rs 20 crore budget, of which Rs six crore worth plan is approved. (As of 2017)

Mahul sit-in enters 32nd day, project affected citizens protesting since a year. Deaths continue…

Mahul sit-in enters 32nd day, project affected citizens protesting since a year. Deaths continue…

Residents of Mahul are not complaining about the serious health issues and deaths since yesterday or day before but since more than a year.

One of those photos during the starting of Mahul movement in 2017


Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis continues to remain silent on the issue involving lives of 30,000 citizens.

They came on the street a month back to demonstrate and demand their relocation from Mahul to a safer place.



Even the Court ordered the govt. to do so. However, govt failed to address issues and is only responding to residents by hollow assurances.
The Chief Minister who has to take final decisions on the matter has not found any time in this period of whole one year to meet and hear grievances of the residents.

We have a very basic demand-protection of lives. The apathetic and callous attitude of the government is sending a very wrong message-that the Chief Minister has got all the time in the world to attend fancy programs but consider the issue of saving lives of human least on his agenda.

The residents are determined and will fight until the end. In the coming week, we will hold more and more programs at the site of dharna and outside dharna to pressurise the govt for a constructive dialogue and solution.

A huge bike rally happened. The rally started at 2pm from the dharna site in Vidya vihar east and ended at Mantralaya.



Bike Rally for Mahul


Maharashtra govt. has cheated poor residents of Mahul.
Housing Minister, Shri Prakash Mehta had assured residents of Mahul that all of them can be given houses in Kurla HDIL .

The assurance was given under pressure from the residents of Mahul who are agitated by Government’s non-compliance of High Court’s order which had directed Government of Maharashtra to relocacte Mahul residents as the area is hit by a worst level of industrial pollution.

However, today the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis said the tenements in Kurla cannot be allotted as they are under litigation.

What CM offered to do as part of the solution of the problem is only sanctioning the 350 houses which were offered by MHADA to Mahul residents. This is not the complete solution as total families living in Mahul are around 5,500.

A meeting was held today with the Chief Minister on the insistence of Shiv Sena youth leader Aditya Thackrey in presence of MHADA president, Uday Samant and Mr. Thackrey himself. None of the representatives of Mahul residents were called for the meeting.

What is offered today by the government is not something the government benevolently offered, as in past the government had outrightly rejected to provide any alternative tenements. It is only after hard-earned negotiation and initiative of ShivSena youth leader that the MHADA offered these tenements. It is also not the case that there are no tenements available at all.

In fact, through RTI we have found that there are almost one lakh tenements available in Mumbai which are meant for Project Affected Persons.  So, this means that if the Kurla HDIL tenements cannot be allotted then there are still umpteen number of tenements available which can be allotted to Mahul residents. What is lacking is simply government will to save to the lives of Mahul residents who are under constant life threat due to worst level of industrial pollution in the area.

The Chief Minister does not even have the courtesy to meet the representatives of the Mahul residents to discuss and resolve the issue. The residents have been trying to meet him for more than a year. Agitated by this callous behaviour of the government, resident took out a bike rally today to Mantrayalay. They displayed large postcards which were addressed to the chief minister reminding him about meeting the residents. Few of the bikers were detained by the police for such for taking out the rally. Today’s police action sends out only one message that it is a crime today to even demand protection of life.

Yesterday, was the 31st day of the sit-in which is being held at Vidya Vihar by the residents of Mahul who are demanding compliance of High Court’s order which directed the Government of Maharashtra to relocate the residents of Mahul. Chief Minister statement has agitated the residents by his insensitive way of addressing the issue. More than hundred people have died so far due to the pollution in Mahul. Looks like he is waiting for more people to die to act. The future course of movement of Mahul residents will be decided and announced soon.


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लढेंगे जितेंगे !!

Pics and text by Bilal Khan from GBGB Andolan

|Patwardhan Park|BMC is painting horses to make them look like Zebras

Effects of New DCPR-2034 on Greater Mumbai.Effects of New DCPR-2034 on Greater Mumbai:

The public park lands were left open to meet the ecological need of that locality. Local authorities must stop unethical exploitation of these natural park lands for any other purposes. It is
ridiculous to have multiple activities of different nature on any public park.
happiness is freedom;

Citizens’, the secret to don’t lose your freedom. The Development Control & Promotion Regulations 2034 has proposed sewage treatment plants, electric substations, underground parking and shopping hubs below.

Open public spaces and land reserved for playgrounds, and gardens in future.

Painting donkeys to look like zebras has happened before,

Now, BMC is painting a horse to resemble a zebra!


After Byuclla’s Jhulla Maidan,
BMC might raid other ground
under some of Mumbai’s
heritage maidans.

Case 2-

Now at Bandra’s Patwardhan Park,
Citizens continue to remain divided
over the underground parking
and shopping plaza proposed at
Bandra’s Patwardhan Park.


Painting donkeys to look like zebras has happened before!

Now, it is like painting a horse to resemble a Zebra.

The public park lands were left open to meet the ecological need of that locality. Local authorities must stop unethical exploitation of these natural park lands for any other purposes. It is ridiculous to have multiple activities of different
nature on any public park.

Happiness is freedom;
Citizens’, the secret to
don’t lose your freedom.

Protest against such murky land use!

-Architect Chandrashekhar Burande [email protected]

Were the cubs found in Chandrapur Avni’s cubs?

Were the cubs found in Chandrapur Avni’s cubs?

Avni, the tigress was murdered in a premeditated attack ordered by the Maharashtra Forest Department on 2nd November, 2018 despite mercy pleas and availability of humane alternatives.

Avni is survived by her two cubs. I have been fighting in order to place responsibility for the said murder and to rescue the tigress’s cubs and have faced harassment and intimidation for the same. It would sadden you to note that the postmortem report of Avni revealed that the poor animal had not eaten for 5 days. That means the cubs too would have been hungry and it’s been another 13 days since.

The Maharashtra Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) AK Mishra has indicated today the two cubs have been spotted and are being monitored.
However in a shocking event, a pair of dead cubs have been discovered on a railway track in Chandrapur. While this incident stands to bring more shame to the already disgraced Maharashtra Forest Department, I demand that a thorough inquiry is made into the alleged accident to ascertain whether these cubs are not Avni’s children. A DNA test must be done to repudiate or confirm this.
Details of the mother of these kids must be made available and we should know lineage to confirm if she is another tigress.
There is a strong case for suspicion in this matter due to the following crucial factors:
1. The manner in which the two dead cubs lay on the railway track suggests no sign of accident, trauma or injury as such an accident may have caused. They have no hit marks, there is no blood splattered nor is their tail injured. The image, which has been widely circulated on both mainstream and social media depict a carefully doctored and sanitized image.
2. It is also unsettling to note that the forest department was prompt in declaring their ages as 6 months old without post mortem report. If, however that is true, there remains no explanation as to how such young cubs could stray so far away from their mother. Tigers are known to stick with their mothers for up to 18 months.
3. PCCF has previously made false claims regarding the manner of Avni’s death as confirmed by her postmortem report and thus has lost moral authority on the issue.
Chandrapur is Sudhir Mungantiwar’s home district and one cannot help wonder if those two dead cubs are Avni’s.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been dithering from ordering a high level investigation. The current inquiry team is a joke as it includes those who are complicit in Avni.
Until the truth comes out and both the cubs are rescued, Maharashtra Forests Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar must resign.
Preeti Sharma Menon
National Executive Member
Aam Aadmi Party
|EVENT| Rivers- A flow of life.

|EVENT| Rivers- A flow of life.

Vivant UntamedEarth Foundation welcomes to the Second Lecture Series on ‘Biodiversity, Environment & Us’

We are pleased to invite you to the inaugural lecture,

‘Rivers – a flow of life !’
by Ketaki Ghate

(Founder & Partner, Oikos for Ecological Services, Trustee & Faculty – Ecological Society, Pune)

Get to know the ecology of Rivers and the associated biodiversity and it’s significance..

Get to know Rivers in a very different light. … not merely as a GIVER of LIFE but also as a FLOW of LIFE !

Know how a river changes in its form, flow and temperament in the course of its journey right from source to mouth…

Know why any restorative or beautification work must be done with an ecological perspective to truly be beneficial.

We revere our rivers as ‘Mother’… Our ancient civilizations flourished on the banks of our rivers … but are we really cautious about them any more !

Perhaps in the light of this knowledge, we shall learn to alter our behaviour and become worthy of our rivers once again.
….. ….. …..

When :
Saturday, 17th November 2018. 06.00 to 07.30 pm

Venue :
Basement No 1, Indian Education Society, Sir Bhalchandra Road, Hindu Colony, Dadar, Mumbai : 400014. Entrance : opp. Parchure Nursing Home.
Pl reach by 05.45 pm. for the Lecture.
Entry Free
… ….. …..
* ‘Dahisar River Visit’

When : Sunday 18th November 2018. 07.00 am. to 08.30/09.00 am
Where : Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali.
Pl report by 06.50 am at the Main Gate.
( Buy your own Entry Ticket )
….. ….. …..
To Pre Register : WhatsApp your Name and E mail to any of the given numbers :
981960522 or 7350923344 or 9004531336
Please Indicate OPTION 1) Lecture or OPTION 2) Lecture & River Visit .

Or mail [email protected]

About Ketaki Ghate :

A double graduate with Chemistry and Botany as well as an alumnus of the Ecological Society, Pune. She has core expertise in Ecological & Biodiversity Assessment, Ecological Master Planning, Ecological Restoaration and Biodiversity Conservation.

She has authored numerous educational publications. including a book titled, ‘Nisarga Samvardhan’or Nature Conservation and film, ‘Varasaa’ which deals with Traditional Environmental Wisdom.

She has been honoured with the Ramabai Joshi award for Innovative Services by the MCCIA, Unch Maza Zoka’ award form the Zee Marathi and the Avani Mitra by the Talwalkar Trust.

‘वाघभक्षक’ माणूस | Save Avni? Save yourself.

‘वाघभक्षक’ माणूस | Save Avni? Save yourself.

गेल्या आठवड्यात अवनी या वाघीणीसाठी बांद्रा येथे लोकं साधारणतः ५ च्या सुमारास जमले. जवळपास १०० जण जमले होते. सगळ्यांच्याच डोळ्यात अश्रू होते , ते त्या वाघीणीसाठी होतेच पण त्याचबरोबर त्या वाघिणीच्या लहान पिल्लांसाठीही होते ज्यांचा आयुष्याबद्दल कोणीच शाश्वती देऊ शकत नाही. यवतमाळ जिल्ह्यातील गावांमध्ये लोकांनी फटाके फोडून जल्लोष केला असही ऐकल. सगळच गोंधळात टाकणारं होत.

आपण वर्षानुवर्षे वाघांची शिकार करत आहोत, जंगल तोडत आहोत, वाघांना तसेच अन्य वन्यजीवांना एखाद्या कोठडीत बंद केल्यासारखं ठेवत आहोत आणि मग आपणच शेवटी म्हणतो कि एका वाघिणीने १३ जणांचा जीव घेतला. हा केवढा दांभिकपणा ?
दांभिकपणा सोडला तर विषय आहे त्या वाघिणीने १३ जणांना मारल्याचा. तर ती या आरोपात संशयित आहे, आरोपी नाही, त्यामुळे तिने १३ जणांना मारल्याचा छाती ठोकून जो प्रचार केला जातो तो लोकांनी थांबवावा, तिने आतापर्यंत ५ जणांना मारल्याचे पुरावे आहेत त्यामुळे ते आपण सत्य म्हणून गृहीत धरू.

आता ५ जणांना मारल्याची शिक्षा तिला मारूनच द्यायची ठरवली तर हा न्याय माणसाला लैच भारी पडू शकतो कारण आपण लाखो, करोडो जमाती नष्ट केल्या आहेत. हा युक्तिवाद आपण कधीच सहन करणार नाही हे गृहीत धरूनच पुढच लिखाण करत आहे.

तर या वाघिणीला मारण्याऐवजी तिला बेशुद्ध करता आलं असत व तिला दुसऱ्या जंगलात ठेवता आलं असत, नाही पण तिला सरळ पोईट ब्लेंक रेंज वरून ठार करण्यात आल , सुप्रीम कोर्टानेही आदेष दिलेला कि तिला पहिल्यांदा बेशुद्ध करून जिवंत पकडण्याचा प्रयत्न केला जावा. पण हल्ली सुप्रीम कोर्टाला आपल सरकार किवा लोक कुठे मानतात म्हणा ?
तर शेवटी या वाघिणीची हत्या करण्यात आली. त्यासाठी महिनोंमहिने करोडो रुपये खर्च करण्यात आले, इटालियन कुत्रे वैगेरे बोलावण्यात आले, मुलींना आकर्षित करण्यासाठी वापरला जाणारा हजारो रुपयांचा सेंटही वापरण्यात आला. Paragliders ना हजारो रुपये देण्यात आले पण तरीही अवनीला पकडण्यात सगळेच अपयशी ठरले. सगळ्यात भारी गोष्ट म्हणजे, या वाघिणीची शिकार करण्यासाठी अशा एका शिकाऱ्याला बोलावण्यात आल ज्याच्यावर नक्षलवाद्यांना शस्त्र पुरवण्याचा गंभीर आरोप तसेच अनेक प्राण्यांची हत्या करण्याचाही आरोप आहे, या महान माणसाच नाव शफत अली खान.

एकीकडे वाघांना वाचवण्यासाठी प्रयत्न करत असल्याचा आव आणायचा आणि दुसरीकडे असे उपद्व्याप करायचे, हा खोटारडेपणा फक्त या सरकारचाच नाही तर सगळ्याच पक्षांनी केला आहे .

वाघांची संख्या वाढवायची असेल तर त्याचं जंगल क्षेत्रही वाढवायला हव ही एक साधी बाब आहे. पण या सामान्य तथ्याकडे कोणीच लक्ष देत नाही आहे.

याबाबतीत आणखी एक महत्वाचा मुद्दा म्हणजे मराठी news चेनेल्स चा. प्रत्येक news चेनेल हे या वाघिणीला दोषी ठरवून तिच्या विरोधात अक्षरशः दर दिवशी जणू campaign करत होत.

मिडियाच काम लोकांमध्ये प्रबोधन घडवण हेही आहे. पण सगळाच मिडिया त्या वाघिणीला नरभक्षक ठरवण्याचा मागे लागला होता.

प्रश्न आता हा आहे कि त्या वाघिणीच्या २ पिल्लांच काय ? तर त्यांनाही मारून टाकण्याचा प्रयत्न केला जातोय हे आत्ताच कुठेतरी वाचल.

एकूणच हे सर्व अतिशय भयानक आणि हृदयद्रावक आहे.

निसर्गावर फक्त आपलाच हक्क आहे का ?

जो न्याय त्या वाघीणीसाठी लावला गेला तोच न्याय जर माणसावर लावला तर आपण कधीच नामशेष झालो असतो हे सगळ्यांनी ध्यानात ठेवाव.

त्या वाघिणीला तर आता आपण न्याय कधीच देऊ शकणार नाही पण तिचे बछडे अजूनही जिवंत आहेत आणि त्यांना वाचवण्याची नितांत आवश्यकता आहे. त्यासाठी देशाच्या कानाकोपऱ्यातून आवाज उठणं गरजेचं कारण आपल्या आंदोलनं केल्याशिवाय सामान्य माणसाला न्याय मिळत नाही.
तर मुंबईत अवनी व तिच्या पिल्लांचा आवाज बनण्यासाठी हजारो लोकं वांद्रे समुद्रकिनाऱ्यालगत, R.K.Lakshman यांच्या ‘कॉमन मॅन’ पुतळ्या जवळ साधारणतः संध्याकाळी 4 वाजता जमणार आहेत. त्यात तुमच्या सहभागाला अनन्यसाधारण महत्व. जर भारतातील वाघांना आणि फक्त वाघांना नव्हे तर प्रत्येक जगली प्राण्यांना तसेच जंगलांना वाचवायच असेल तर या ११ नोव्हेंबर ला. एकत्र आपला आवाज बुलंद करू आपल्या पृथ्वीसाठी. कारण आज जी वेळ या वाघांवर आली आहे तीच वेळ उद्या मुंबईतल्या बिबट्यांवर येऊ शकते.

-Hrishikesh Patil is a blogger for Let Mumbai Breathe

Maneka Gandhi speaks up against the illegal killing of Avni. Bashes BJP Minister.

Maneka Gandhi speaks up against the illegal killing of Avni. Bashes BJP Minister.

I am deeply saddened by the way tigress Avni has been brutally murdered in #Yavatmal, #Maharashtra. #Justice4TigressAvni

It is nothing but a straight case of crime. Despite several requests from many stakeholders, Sh @SMungantiwar, Minister for Forests, #Maharashtra, gave orders for the killing. #Justice4TigressAvni

He has been doing this regularly and this is the third tiger being murdered besides several leopards and wild boars. #Justice4TigressAvni

Every time he has used Hyderabad-based shooter Shafat Ali Khan, and this time his son has also appeared in the scene illegally to murder the tigress. #Justice4TigressAvni

His son was not authorised to kill. This is patently illegal. Despite the forest officials being committed to tranquilise, capture and qurantine the tigress, the trigger-happy shooter has killed her on his own under orders of Sh @SMungantiwar.

This ghastly murder has put two cubs at the edge of a sad death in the absence of their mother. #Justice4TigressAvni

Shafat Ali Khan has killed 3 tigers, at least 10 leopards, a few elephants and 300 wild boar in Chandrapur, #Maharashtra. He is a criminal known for supplying guns to anti- nationals and for a suspected case of murder in #Hyderabad.

I fail to understand why a state government should even bother about such a man let alone hire his services for illegal and inhuman acts.

I am definitely going to take up this case of utter lack of empathy for animals as a test case. Legally, criminally as well as politically. #Justice4TigressAvni

I will take up the matter very strongly with CM Maharashtra Shri @Dev_Fadnavis ji.

You can read the tweet thread here.