There is a huge protest going at Aarey forest in Mumbai, at the moment. The government has issued cutting down of 2656 trees for the construction of metro car shed which would help extend Mumbai metro to other parts of the city. Environmentalists and local people, however, are against this move as it drastically deteriorates the green cover. Since yesterday there have been 38 arrests and 55 detainments. Protestors are not allowed to move inside the area as curfew has been imposed. Here’s both side’s stand on the issue.
The environmentalists and locals are against the move since the move would mean fewer trees and would increase air pollution since there would be 2656 less tress to recycle the CO2 into Oxygen. It would also mean less rain in the area since trees attract clouds. Many Bollywood celebrities have joined in on the protest (on twitter), since it’s probably fun for them. The Film city which is also situated in the same area has increased 10 folds since 2000 and yet faces no backlash.
The government is tasked with an ever-growing population and cities which are getting tougher to control each year (eg: Delhi, Mumbai, et al). Public transport seems to be the most effective answer to the current air pollution as it would reduce the number of personal vehicles drastically. Since this government prioritizes well being of a larger group of people over a certain few (Kashmir, Triple Talaq, Hindi imposition etc), it’s working in an unchallenged sort of way.
Mad in power, the current government is taking major steps in what it thinks is good for the country, irrespective of what the other side has to say about it. There are very few opposing voices at the moment and that too don’t last long. This Aarey situation is an amalgamation of everything that has happened in the country for the past decade. It is highly likely that the government goes ahead with this plan and manages to do what it wants to. People would forget about the trees since the metro makes it easier to travel and would better the overall air quality of the city.
Joseph de Maistre once said, “In a democracy, people end up with the leaders they deserve”, and this couldn’t be truer for India at the moment.