Rebuttal to the wall street journal article on Mumbai Metro 3

A journalist spoke to me for the contact details of Indigenous Tribal people who are staying in Aarey for many generations.

Laxmi is one such Tribal woman who was illegally evicted from a Tribal Hamlet called Prajapur Pada . Under the Indian law and as per Court orders ,Tribals can not be treated as slum dwellers and shifted to Slum Rehabilitation Buildings. They should be provided proper rehabilitation.

Metro Rail Corporation LTD (MMRCL) did not acknowledge the fact that Laxmi Gaikwad is a Tribal though Laxmi has all the valid documents to prove that she is a Tribal. She is also a petitioner in the High Court in a case against Metro Rail Corporation.

Construction of Metro 3 Carshed is destroying Floodplain of Mumbai’s infamous yet important Mithi river. Environment Experts from a committee appointed by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra mentioned in a report that this construction of Carshed on the flood plain may lead to flooding in the International Airport during monsoon.

For construction of the proposed carshed at Aarey, MMRCL will also cut 3500 + trees in a forest area and destroy rich biodiversity. There are many other land options to build the Carshed for Metro 3 line. But all the suggestions of the environment experts and citizens were ignored by the MMRCL. They never wanted to have a dialogue with the Citizens of Mumbai.

The article by WSJspeaks about MMRCL planting thousands of trees but we Citizens have not seen the proof. But we have proof to show that more than 50% trees transplanted by MMRCL are already dead.

Unfortunately these aspects have not been covered in this article and hence this article is only showing one side of the story.

Would request you to at least correct information about Laxmi Gaikwad in your article. Indigenous people have been exploited across the world for centuries. It is now time for the “educated” people to help them get their rights.

Amrita Bhattacharjee

(Amrita Bhattacharjee is a citizen who has been a part of Aarey Conservation Group and saving Aarey since 2014)

(The pic in the thumbnail is from the Aarey Satyagraha on October 2, 2018. Citizens across the city have been complaining about the metros high handedness and no concern for environment to the deaf ears of the dispensation)

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