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Aarey land declared as reserve forest

On Thursday, October 8, the state government declared 328.9 hectares of land in Aarey as ‘reserve forest’.

Aarey land declared as reserve forest
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On Thursday, October 8, the state government declared 328.9 hectares of land in Aarey as ‘reserve forest’.

According to an article in Indian Express, the government has invoked Section 4 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927. This implies that the government plans to announce the land as reserve forest by appointing a forest settlement officer (FSO). Sanjay Rathore, State Forest Minister, informed the same adding that the primary notification was approved on Thursday and an official gazette will be published in next two days.

Moreover, as per the provisions of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, the land becomes unavailable for fresh development. The area of the reserved forest excludes the land on which the controversial car shed for the 33.5-km-long underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro Line 3 corridor was to come up.

The Aarey forests have been the last remaining patch of greenery in the city of Mumbai. Earlier, several activists had been battling against the felling of trees in the area. The forest is home to rich biodiversity which is being damaged as a consequence of the development projects. There are 27 tribal hamlets within Aarey Colony with nine hamlets across Force One, Film City, Veterinary College and SRPF areas.

The Aarey colony have been known as the green lungs of Mumbai for a very long time. This region is said to have more than five lakh trees combining the Sanjay Gandhi Nation Park. Protesters and activists had been organizing demonstrations and pressing the government in several ways to stop the axing of the trees to protect the same.

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