This is with reference to the series of news articles that appeared in the Marathi daily – Loksatta since 25 May 2015.
 
This is about the proposal of so called ‘improvement’ of Maharashtra Nature Park located on the banks of Mithi River in Dharavi, Mumbai.
 
The proposal prepared by ‘Observer Research Foundation’ & ‘Reliance Foundation’ has been accepted by MMRDA and it proposes to convert the nature park into a sort of an amusement park with several typical urban features and linking it with the commercial hub of Bandra-Kurla Complex.  This is a clear attempt of land grabbing for future commercial activity at a prime location.
 
Maharashtra Nature Park is the first ecological park in India created by converting a 37 acres of garbage dump on the banks of Mithi River into a green lung for Mumbai city.  This was initiated in 1980 by a very dynamic lady – Shanta Chatterji who was the Chairperson of WWF – Mumbai Chapter and designed by us as an ecological & nature education park with biodiversity rich vegetation, nursery of forest plants and mangrove rejuvenation in the Mithi Creek.
 

This was a garbage dump over which we worked, toiled hard, fought several battles and designed and created this dream Nature Park, first of its kind in India.

The MNP had started blossoming with nature conservation activities during the last few years and I was so happy participating in a few activities and reading about them.

This is a place for children, youth and senior citizens from all walks of life.

And now someone decides to wipe this all with some gimmicks.

Such efforts of several people in the creation and rejuvenation of biodiversity could just vanish because of whims of some officials at MMRDA lured by some pseudo-NGO and corporate bigwigs is a shameful act.

Maharashtra Nature Park ‘improvement’ plot further thickens as reflected in today’s newspaper story! They have courage to even oust the Chief Secretary from the post of president of Maharashtra Nature Park Society.  

There seems to be no option to the nature lovers other than the collective agitation / protest without wasting any time.  

This is an earnest request to the nature loving youth and organisations of Mumbai to come forward unitedly.

This is also an appeal to help to protect MNP by writing to authorities, press and loud protest?

 

There is a heated discussion on this issue on Facebook and many senior naturalists like Bittu Sahgal (Sanctuary Magazine), Sumaira Abdulali (BNHS), Shanta Chatterji have protested strongly and offered support for ‘Save MNP Mission’.

 

Let us show our strength to protect this green lung of Mumbai.

I am in Bengaluru and feel helpless and furstrated. 

However I will be a part of this agitation / protest.


 

Save Maharashtra Nature Park : 1 post by 1 author.

Further to my earlier message about the Maharashtra Nature Park this is to inform you that like-minded individuals and organisations have planned to meet at  Maharashtra Nature Park, Dharavi, Mumbai on 6 June at 10.00 hrs. as a Solidarity Meeting to Save Maharashtra Nature Park.
 
Since this is also following the World Environment Day, a small scale Tree Planting activity may also be taken up.
 
The meet is being co-ordinated by Himanshu Prem, Anand Pendharkar and Bibhas Amonkar.
 
Please join in all strength along with your nature loving family and friends to express the solidariy to save the ecological green lung of Mumbai.
 
Those of you who are members / associated with environmental / social organisations may involve them with their members to make the campaign more participatory.I


Save Maharashtra Nature Park : 1 post by 1 author.

The first protest meet on 6 June 2015 was a good beginning for a long-drawn battle to save Maharashtra Nature Park.

Pl see the brief report hereunder.

Let us have larger participation from ALL of you during future actions.

Take over’ ORF-Reliance proposal for MNP challenged

Mahim Nature Park protection movement received some boost when a gathering of MNP supporters took place on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at MNP. Many stakeholders such as students, teachers, naturalists, nature lovers, photographers, organic farmers, nature clubs and NGOs like Kavita Mukhi’s FARMER MARKET, SPROUTS, BNAC, FERN, URBAN LEAVES, ECO PERSONA, RANIBAUG FOUNDATION, CLEAN AIR ISLAND, ECO CENTRIC, PATANJALI YOG SAMITI, AWAAZ FOUNDATION and the others congregated to pledge for not letting any “concrete development” anywhere within the park area, including the 10-acres WHERE THE EXISTING TREES SEEM TO HAVE BEEN DESTROYED, perhaps for paving the way of construction of toilets, eateries, bridges, walk-ways, parking lots, crèche and such other elements right inside the Park.

The ORF, which proposes 50,000 visitors per day at MNP has no answers to several questions raised by the naturalists. In fact the entire MoU got signed strangely WITHOUT consulting the Governing Body members of MNP, including the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra suddenly being removed from the Governing body.

An educated debate took place, backed with facts and figures and the major faults of the proposed recent ‘make over plan’ of ORF as against the original 1990s green education plan of WWF-MNP. Political parties like CONGRESS, AAP, SHIVSENA representatives were present and eager to support the green cover existing in the park, apart from re-greening the DESTROYED 10 acre forest which was painstakingly grown into the park area touching the slums.


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