Month: December 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by the NFF and fishing communities indicated what the country stands to lose should the CRZ 2011 notification be superseded by the draft CRZ 2018 notification.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)