March 26, 2019 11:42:32 am
Environmentalists and activists are demanding that environment issues find a place in the election manifestos of political parties. The city’s green activists have been disappointed with the political discussions in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls next month, being bereft of issues of ecological destruction and tribal displacements faced by the city as well as the state on account of mindless development.
Activists say they want environment-related issues to be brought to the mainstream for fighting climate change. A group of environmentalists and activists has planned a human chain demanding an environmental manifesto on March 30.
“Environment is the last priority in Mumbai as well as Maharashtra. In line with international cities like London, etc., zoning and carrying capacities should be worked out and there should be strong impetus on de-cluttering Mumbai and improving infrastructure in satellite regions. In Mumbai, car density is much higher than roads. Mumbai is the economic capital of the country and if it slows down then it will affect people’s efficiency. Thus, economy will go down,” Anand Pendherkar, ecologist and founder and director of SPROUTS, said.
Pendherkar will also take part in the human chain planned at Marine Drive. Another activist, Amrita Bhattacharjee of Aarey Conservation Group (ACG), said, “All of us citizens are together to raise our voice against continuous ecological destruction of green patches and tribals are being forcefully moved from forests. There are 27 adivasi padas in Aarey but government wants to displace them. Aarey should be declared as a forest and tribal living there should be covered under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.”
Citizens who are fighting against the destruction of wetlands in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai are also expected to join the human chain raising their concerns. “There are large patches of wetlands yet to be notified by the government.
Mangroves at several locations have been destroyed since they were not notified. Authorities as well as local public representatives should come forward to make efforts in saving wetlands. With this gathering our aim is to tell our public representatives to talk about environmental issues,”said Sunil Agarwal, activist from Navi Mumbai has been opposing mangrove destruction in Nerul.
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