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L&T, Tata Power want a piece of Aarey forest land
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L&T, Tata Power want a piece of Aarey forest land
Publish on : 2018-11-20 11:55:12
Activists blame government for opening up green belt for commercial use. After a series of land diversions in the Aarey forest in the last few decades, more applications are coming up for land allotments from private organisations and government.  Documents obtained by this newspaper under the RTI Act show that Larsen and ToubroNSE 0.04 % (L&T) has asked for land for a labour camp in Aarey. The letter has been signed by Natesh Mahajan, Project Director of L&T, for Oberoi Garden City. He wrote to the CEO of Aarey Colony, Nathu Rathod, on October 11, "We have come to know from reliable sources that land is available with you on rent/lease at Mohan Gokhale Road opposite Esquire Project. We have to set up our labour camp for workmen for accommodation and require 30,000-35,000 sq ft."  On June 20, 2018, Tata Power wrote to the secretary of the dairy development department asking for 1,500 sq mt of additional land. The letter mentions how they got 1,500 sq m of land in survey number 589 A of Pahadi village. The letter said that the total capacity when Tata Power applied for land on August 10, 2012 was 60 MVA. But there has been rapid increase in load in Goregaon area due to various development activities, and based on of Land Management of Tata Power, seeks allotment of additional 1,500 sq mt adjacent to the 1,500 sq m plot.  Aarey Chief Executive Officer Nathu Rathod said that no call has been taken on these two proposals.  The Mumbai Police has also demanded a five-acre plot near Marol side, which is required for a quarantine and detention centre, but this has been opposed by dairy development department.  Aarey Chief Executive Officer Nathu Rathod said that no call has been taken on these two proposals.  The Mumbai Police has also demanded a five-acre plot near Marol side, which is required for a quarantine and detention centre, but this has been opposed by dairy development department.  Environmentalist D Stalin of NGO Vanashakti said, "The buffet was opened by the Chief Minister under the guise of Metro car shed project. We had always maintained that this was a land grab to destroy Mumbai’s last remaining green space. Aarey’s ecological services have been completely thrashed by the government. They are seeking to exploit for real estate."  Bittu Sahgal, Editor of Sanctuary Asia, said, "If it were not for Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey, 3,000 and not 1,000 people would have lost their lives in the 2005 Mumbai floods. Aarey has to be saved at all costs. It is not a wasteland where people come for a walk. I am pro-Metro, but against the car shed."  Zoru Bhathena of Save Aarey Movement said, "Anyone who demands land gets it with minimum resistance from the dairy development department. Since the state government is generous in giving land, more and more people are coming forth." Environmentalist D Stalin of NGO Vanashakti said, "Not surprisingly, this government has consistently sought to destroy ecologically fragile areas. They have managed to pull the wool over people’s eyes by token mitigation measures while needlessly destroying forest. Source :- Economic Times

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