Month: February 2019

The government is actively contributing to making Mumbai unliveable. They look at land not as a public asset but as a commodity to be given to greedy builders and corporates.

It is a shame that some 30,000 books of the Mantralaya library in Mumbai have been dumped into a godown in Tardeo. Perhaps it should not come as too big a surprise in an era when knowledge and scientific outlook are derided and falsehood is glorified by those in power.
It is dedicated individuals who are preserving the reading culture. Dr Anand Joshi, a member of the Asiatic library for decades, has donated Rs. One lakh to the library. I was present at a meeting of the modern book selection committee of the library yesterday when chairperson Mangala Sardeshpande made the announcement.
And there are several others including academics like Mani Kamerkar and Dr L.B. Kenny who have made donations to the library from their savings.
Similarly there are people all over who are helping in other institutions. . It is the government establishment that is failing us badly.

I used to be a member of Mantralaya’s useful library and I still retain the membership card. It used to be on the ground floor very conveniently located, opposite the information department of the government. There was another good library of the Indian Institute of Public Administration on the same floor.
These were shifted following the fire in the Mantralaya building in 2012 which caused extensive damage, killed 3 people and injured 15.
The books have been dumped elsewhere to make way for another office. This brings us to another point. The Maharashtra government and the civic body have shown a scandalous disregard for land and space.
They have given away acres and acres of government land to dubious organisations and now they are desperately short of space for their own projects. That is why we find the shameful spectacle of public space being invaded , people being robbed of access to these spaces, for Metro rail project, vehicle testing tracks and others.
And yet, no lessons have been learnt. It is disgraceful that the government wants now to sell whatever remaining land there is. People will lose the Mumbai port trust land spread over several hectares if they do not assert themselves. The government is actively contributing to making Mumbai unliveable. It seems it looks at land not as a public asset but as a commodity to be given to greedy builders and corporates shorn of any sentiment of public good.
Mantralaya bureaucrats should realise that there is valuable source material in the library which is not available on the internet.
No less shameful is the utter neglect of the Central library project. Part of the reason for this disgraceful state is the fact that few of the worthies in power care to read. I have been going also to the Council hall library and the Yashwantrao Chavan Centre library in the last several years and have seldom seen politicians there.Also severely neglected is the Mumbai Marathi Granth Sangrahalaya library in Dadar which has rare books and other source material on Marathi literature and the cultural life of Maharashtra.


 People have showed their love for Thane’s trees. Have you?
Help us send as many mails to authorities, so that together we can dream about a better, greener Thane.

Mail the objections!.



The Issue

The government of Maharashtra with the help of MMRDA is aplanning a road that connects Airoli to Thane but sadly there is no concrete plan in front of the citizens and 2800 plus trees are at the risk of being cut.

Draft My Petition

Dear Sir/Madam,

As per the advertisement being circulated on social media dated 2nd February, 2019 which was sanctioned by you on 27th January.  More than 2,800 trees are to be chopped by TMC and you are expecting objections and suggestions for the same.

The notice is not available on your website. Please do the same and thus extend the timeline once the notice is published online.

We noticed, there is no specific details about the number of trees to be transplanted or cut. Please release a list of trees with their species name, age, height, girth as well as which ones will be transplanted, which ones will be cut and the reason for why they cannot be saved including how many trees were tried to be saved and tentative site of transplantation.

With this, we would also be thankful if you could furnish the details of  transplantation expertise, people involved in the activity and past data of success or failure. Please see this mail as an objection from a worried citizen but also please see to it that the above details are up on the website with the details of a public hearing.

We see this act as a violation of Article 21, a Right to Clean Environment

The “Right to Life” under Article 21 means a life of dignity to live in a proper environment free from the dangers of diseases and infection. Maintenance of health, preservation of the sanitation and environment have been held to fall within the purview of Article 21 as it adversely affects the life of the citizens and it amounts to slow poisoning and reducing the life of the citizens because of the hazards created if not checked.

Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely

Two simple steps to voice your opinion and do your bit to #SaveThaneTrees
  • Step-1: Enter your name and email address below & click the “Draft My Petition” button. Your petition would be drafted and copied to the clipboard.
  • Step-2: Paste the drafted petition in your mail client and forward it using the following details –

In The News


The Times of India
Feb 02, 2019




2874 trees to be affected for construction of 1 road in Thane. What can you do?

2874 trees to be affected for construction of 1 road in Thane. What can you do?

We must file our objections in large numbers by Friday 8th Feb2874 trees to be affected for construction of 1 road in Thane!!!!

We must file our objections in large numbers by Friday 8th Feb.

Objection content:

We must object on the following points

1) No details of where this road is located is mentioned. Hence there is no way to check the status at site

2) No details are published on TMC website

3) No date for Public hearing is given

Removal of 2874 is a matter of grave concern & the public must get full details and opportunity to verify the proposal.
Kindly cancel this proposal as it has not complied with the provisions of Law & the Bombay HC Order.

The removal of 2874 trees is a matter of grave concern & ought never to be allowed.
We lodge our very strong objections against such tree removal proposals

Please post in your objections to:

Thane Tree Authority,

CFC Dept, Gr fl,

Thane Municipal Corporation, Thane 400602

For any further details contact [email protected]

Or [email protected]

The notice is attached below:

World wetlands day 2019 – the opportunity to understand the true value of natural resources including wetlands

World wetlands day 2019 – the opportunity to understand the true value of natural resources including wetlands

In accounting, an economic item’s historical cost is the original nominal monetary value of that item. Historical cost accounting involves reporting assets and liabilities at their historical costs, which are not updated for changes in the items’ values.

It is like owning Wipro shares bought in 1980 .RS. 10,000/ invested in 1980 is worth 535 crores today.
But balance sheet will show the asset value at 10000 only. Whereas if the same shares were to be bought today they will be shown at 535 crores. Somebody not knowing the true worth of these shares in first case will think he is a poor man .

We have been blessed by mother nature with so many natural things which have tremendous utilty for us but are neglected as they have come free to us and we are not valuing them properly.

Wetlands play an important role in reducing the impact of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and cyclones. Wetlands act as a natural sponge, absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flooding.

During the dry season, they release the water stored, delaying the onset of droughts and reducing water shortages. The frequency of natural hazards has more than doubled; the majority is climate and weather related.
But these are being destroyed as the destruction of these resources is not reflected anywhere in monetory terms.

Whereas man-made dams & bridges etc. which are miniscule creations compared to natural systems are valued as crores are being spent in making them.

For example the Metro Car shed in Aarey Forest in Mumbai is coming at the cost of thousands of trees which have a huge value but not being taken into consideration while deciding the location of these sheds.

The only solution is to put value to each & every natural resources be it trees , forest , rivers , Mangroves or wetlands and publish it yearly with moneytory value . Then only it will be clear whether so called development projects are adding to value or resulting in loss of value .

For example in Navi Mumbai the authorities wanted to destroy 80 hectares of wetlands & mangroves to make golf course which would have resulted in severe consequences for the area like floods etc.

If you think this is the right solution please share it & ask for the government authorities to implement it.

-Sunil Agrawal is A Chartered accountant , environment lover & co founder of Save Navi Mumbai Environment Group.