The Aarey Milk Colony is one of the most diverse regions in Mumbai; it has also been one of the most endangered regions! Today, climate change has been one of the catalysts for the endangering of the ecosystem in this chaotic city, which has been blessed with Aarey, adjoined to Sanjay Gandhi National Park. With the decreasing number of animals and trees, day by day a lot of pressure has been incorporating in these green lungs of Mumbai. Soaking up most of the pollution of this city, it has been extremely difficult to maintain the flora and fauna.
The green lands of Aarey cover an area of 1,287 hectares of land and have a vast diversity of 77 species of birds, 34 species of wildflowers, 86 species of butterflies, 13 species of amphibians, and 46 species of reptiles. Aarey, known for its mammals such as leopards, spotted deer, the Sambar deer, barking deer, rusty spotted cat, jungle cat, civets, and monkeys, has been quite an attraction for environmental activists from all over the world. Despite the human intervention these deciduous forests still tend to survive in all this commotion.
With the rise of a thick concrete jungle in the city; Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), are planning to chop down 2,656 trees to build car shed over an area of 33 hectares of land, endangering the ecosystem. But, another question arises; ‘What about the animal and plant species residing around that land’?
Whatever the circumstances might be, one should always remember no matter where an animal is migrated it will always linger around its own territory irrespective of the surroundings. Is deforestation under the name of development a reasonable act? Will the animals survive the migration? Till date, there have been various questions escalating. There might be various options to think about but none of them solve issues for animals or the plants, rather the problems keep on increasing. Many debates, discussions have been conducted but all of them have failed to answer even a single question.
While animals strive to survive the climatic changes in the ecosystem their problems have been rising as the days pass by. Shortage of food has dragged many carnivore mammals to the busy streets of Aarey. But, will the green lungs prevail?
Aarey Colony has been home for wildlife and humans for over centuries now! The consonance has ultimately led to a unique lifestyle of the colony which in time would have some serious negative issues. With more and more interference, the ecological balance is feared to be unstable currently. Giving rise to more climatic problems this diverse land might be totally destroyed. Aarey proves to be an ideal buffer zone, as it has been guarding the city against wildlife and the floods that might wash away the low lying areas of Goregaon East, very strategically.
India is one of the most polluted nations; its time we start respecting our natural wealth and conserve what we already have. As human intervention grows we might start losing these naturally blessed areas. It is now that we need to realise the importance of Aarey Colony before we lose all hope; it is now that we make voices heard by the officials. We are the ones who can fight for the sacred land. Come Save Aarey!