“Save Aarey” activists’ initiative to paint Lord Ganesh on the trunks of trees in Aarey Colony faced opposition from Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) officials. The aim of the initiative was to prevent the axing of trees at Aarey, which is being carried out for the underground metro 3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) project. The activists even alleged that the contractors attempted to erase the paintings.
Amrita Bhattacharya, a member of the Aarey Conservation Group, said, “Our motive was to raise greater awareness among the public about the loss of tree cover due to the metro three car shed coming up at Aarey Colony. Along with the painting of Ganpati, the message ‘Save Aarey’ was painted on the trees, which was later erased. The officials stopped us from painting on the trees that were outside the fencing of the car shed area.” The activists claimed to have painted six trees that are on the opposite side of the car shed.
Meanwhile, around six complaints against the metro works were lodged last week. The activists complained that the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT’s) status quo order with respect to Aarey Colony had been violated by carrying out work.