Development at the cost of environment ?

Mumbai - The Union government has issued a notification concerning the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). Though the government claims of environment conservation are being achieved through this notification, the environmentalists think otherwise. The Supreme Court had suggested that Eco-sensitive Zones near national parks should be in the limit of 10 kms. Now, this limit has been reduced to minimum 100 meter and maximum 4 kms. This has cleared the way for large scale construction near the borders of national parks.

We have not learnt anything even after suffering a huge blow of the flood disaster in July 2005. The change in Eco-sensitive Zone limits is being given for the development of Mumbai, claims the BJP. On the other hand, environmentalists believe this decision would adversely affect the wildlife in national parks. It will affect not only the SGNP but also the Aarey Colony area in which government is proposing to build carshed for Metro trains. Though a petition of Vanshakti, an NGO, is pending before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the government has hurriedly issued this notification. Vanrai president Stalin said that this project would uproot thousands of trees in the SGNP and the Aarey Colony. The concerned authorities have not planted new saplings on the places of trees cut for other projects. In all, this decision has raised a question mark on the existence of environment in the city.

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