A small battle was won in India’s financial capital, Mumbai by opposition and ally as Mahim Nature Park was cleared from construction for re-development of Dharavi slums on Thursday.
“It will be preserved as a natural area and not a single dilution would be permitted in its nature and form.” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the media.
The assurance came on Thursday amid public and opposition outcry to save the natural resource by awareness through social media platforms using the #saveMNP drive.
The leaders of Shivsena and Congress had asked the people of Mumbai to write letters to the government and Chief Minister about the same. Environmentalists were also against the proposal.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar too got involved in the controversy. He said that a part of MNP was notified as forest in 1991.
In a statement, he said,” Rules say that the lands notified as forest must be handed over to the forest department. I’ve also sought a detailed report from the forest secretary in this regard.”
In 2015, the MMRDA’s own plans to “beautify and develop” the nature park were hit owing to the “forest” tag on the portion of the MNP. We had written to forest officials seeking more details regarding the notified zone. We are still awaiting their response.”
However, he maintained that the two plans had nothing in common.
Earlier Maharashtra Govt Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) made to the proposal to include 16.86 hectares long Mahim Natural Park (MNP) for the redevelopment of Dharavi Slums.
The Park is a home to year’s old species of butterflies, birds, reptiles, and trees.