Dancing to the tunes of Tamma Tamma students from the Rotary Club of Hinduja College and KC College brought to the attention of Mumbaikars the dangers of cutting trees in the city for the Metro 3. The students organised a flash mob on Marine Drive on Saturday evening to raise awareness on the loss of green cover in the city for the construction of the underground Metro.
The Bollywood numbers were followed by a short street play that depicted the tussle between the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) and the environmentalists fighting court battles to save the trees. They then led a silent protest holding banners.
“Trees provide us oxygen, the most essential element to live. What is the point of getting a metro and not being able to breathe? We are aping foreign countries and making Metros while losing our green treasure,” said a student participant of the flash mob. “We are not against the development of Mumbai Metro 3, but we are against the unethical cutting down of thousands of trees which are not only oxygen suppliers but also habitat to thousands of birds and other species. This will disrupt the environment as these are years old and transplantation is not possible for them,” said Gopi Gupta, a student at KC College and also a mentor for the initiative.
The students also organised a mannequin challenge where they posed with different posters. The spectators were asked to sign petitions seeking the government to save the trees. Titling the initiative ‘Green or Grey? — the choice is yours!’ the students have also made a couple of short films to raise awareness on the subject. The activists have been fighting against the cutting of over 5,000 trees for the construction of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ line and have an ongoing battle in the Bombay High Court.
“Most people are not realising the damage that will occur due to the loss of these trees. Through this initiative we want to raise awareness about it among the citizens. We are not against the Metro but why can’t they develop it respecting the trees? At many places they are cutting it without a reason only because nobody is opposing it,” says Zoru Bhatena, one of the activists.