MUMBAI: A group of activists protesting felling of trees for the upcoming metro car shed in Mumbai's Aarey Colony has written a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking his intervention to scrap the project.
The Rs 23,136 crore Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro Line 3 project is part-funded to the tune of Rs 13,235 crore by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The plan to build the car shed in Aarey, one of the city's prime green tract, has come in for criticism from activists and large sections of society.
For its part, the Maharashtra government, especially chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, has expressed its support for the project which involves felling of more than 2600 trees over a 30-hectare plot in the area.
The letter has been written by Avkash Jadhav, Associate Professor and Head of Department, History, of St Xavier's College, and activists.
9 Impacts of Citizen on streets#SaveAareyForest 7 days— Aarey Forest (@AareyForest) September 8, 2019
1.@ShivSena moves court
2.@INCIndia moves court
4.17 #BollywoodCelebs support incl #LataMangeshkar
6.Tree Auth #Expertsresign
7,8,9.Escalation @BearGrylls @PrakashJavdekar @IUCN
It has been translated into Japanese by an NGO.
"A couple of days ago, I got the final translated version of the letter citing 10 crucial points that were not shared with JICA at the time of the presentation made for the Aarey car shed. After translating it into Japanese, we have sent the letter to PM Abe through India Post," said Jalpesh Mehta of Empower Foundation.
Seeking a meeting with officials at the consulate general of Japan, the group said a copy of the letter sent to PM Abe will be handed over to them.
Jadhav had recently asked Bear Grylls, an English adventurer, to impress upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and prevent the car shed from coming up at Aarey.
Grylls and Modi featured in a special episode of 'Man Vs Wild', shot in Jin Corbett National Park.