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Upsetting a delicate balance?

For more detailed information log on to www.saveaarey.org You can join the Save Aarey Community on www.facebook.com/groups/saveaarey

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FEATURE | POSTED ON 31 MAY 2016 | BIO DIVERSITY, MUMBAI, AAREY MILK COLONY, ENVIRONMENT
Karen Vaswani, Concerned Citizen
Doing my bit for my city.
Saving Aarey!
As the big city become bigger, green cover shrinks and we cover up Mother Earth in our concrete blankets. Then we complain about the heat. The pollution. And long for the good old days. Aarey Milk Colony is a story of citizens fighting back, and doing something to keep their city's lungs breathing.

Green Haven
Aarey Colony is one of the largest green patches in Mumbai, situated in the western suburbs of the city. Besides housing several functional cattle farms, the 3000+ acres of land also boasts of small lakes, picnic areas, gardens, plant nurseries and an observation pavilion. In a city turning into a thick concrete jungle, Aarey provides invaluable services at zero economic cost: It absorbs and filters the very high levels of pollution in the area due to the exhaust from millions of vehicles that run on the arterial roads in the vicinity. It cools the atmosphere and provides fresh air. Aarey has the area and bio-diversity to be developed as a world class recreational area, complete with nature trails, botanical gardens, museums, etc. The place acts as a buffer zone to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, home to many leopards and other wildlife. It also houses a small population of the indigenous Warli tribe, famous for their signature style of painting.
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Art4Aarey:
Graffiti on an abandonded warehouse to beautify it!

In the name of development
The authorities’ decision to construct a metro car shed over an area of 28 hectares, has met with much criticism and will call for the uprooting of more than 2000 trees. Most of these, they say, will be replanted but how many will survive well is anybody’s guess. This urban development also includes a flyover and road widening of fifty feet or more. Wiping out watershed areas will cause acute water shortages, while illegal encroachments and unchecked garbage pose problems of their own.

Save Aarey
The Save Aarey initiative is not against development but unplanned development which will benefit a few vested interests, while caring little much for the citizens of Mumbai who are starved of clean air and green spaces. The hugely successful Clean Aarey campaign was launched on 2nd Nov 2014 and had the mass involvement of 400 Volunteers from all over Mumbai. Since then, there’s been no looking back.

The Save Aarey team has been active in organizing the following:
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Aarey Milk Colony Protection Status Clean Aarey – Waste Management
-Tree Plantation– (Over 500 planted in 2015 and over 50 this year)
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Biodiversity protection
-Placement of awareness communication / message boards
-Community Connect
-Promote cultural activities (Equal street events, art installation, Music events at Amphitheatre, Green Film Festival)

Save Aarey hopes that many more environment conscious citizens join this movement and international agencies focus on exploring a lot more, yet unknown, in this urban bio-diversity treasure trove.

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