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Tribals to hold protest against zoo on Sunday

THE ASIAN AGE. | DEVASHRI BHUJBAL
Published : Jun 23, 2019, 6:32 am IST
Updated : Jun 23, 2019, 6:32 am IST

The tribal community in Aarey Milk Colony, an area marked as “green zone”, has long been apprehensive of losing its land.

Former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam
 Former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam

Mumbai: Members of the tribal community settled in Aarey Milk Colony will be protesting on Sunday against handing  over of 120 acres of land to the Brihammumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for a proposed zoo.

Former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam along with tribal leader Shiva Gavit will be organising the protest at the proposed site of the zoo. The protest is expected to begin at noon.

The state government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the BMC on the occasion of World Environment Day. The MOU allowed the government to hand over 120 acres of land to the BMC for setting up a world-class zoo.

The tribal community in Aarey Milk Colony, an area marked as “green zone”, has long been apprehensive of losing its land.

“Three Aadivasi padas behind the Aarey picnic spot house 233 families. The government has already built a wall. The government cannot take over forest land. The tribal community has not been told anything about rehabilitation. It is heartening to see the members of the community uniting to fight for their rights,” said Cassandra Naz-areth, a member of the Aarey Conservation Group.

The Shiv Sena had announced a zoo in the green zone in its manifesto ahead of the Assembly election in 2014.

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) team, which had inspected the proposed site in 2014, recently gave its clearance.

The proposed zoo is part of the Byculla zoo revamp project.

The total cost of the project is expected to be over Rs 500 crores. The project is expected to be completed in the next five years.

Tags: aarey milk colony, sanjay nirupam