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Environment or Development?

In the environment or development debate, we forget that natural capital — forests, rivers, land — provide ecosystem services, without which we as a species would not survive. 

Fire at amazon rain-forest

Our planet has huge number of living things including us; humans. But as we have brains, that small portion of body more powerful than other living creatures, we don’t bother about others, who have equal rights to live as long as they survived. 

We destroy anything which comes in our path, even if they are trees, doesn’t matter.

In mid -Aug or Sep first week this year, social media was flooded with the posts of Fires at Amazon forest which is a huge forest situated in Brazil.

The news mentioned that the Amazon was burning at record rates. The blazes were so huge that smoke can be seen from space, and experts said  the fires could have major climate impacts.

There was a blame against Brazil government from around the world for deforestation, also many news channels and environmentalists mentioned that 20% of Oxygen is generated by Amazon forest; and hence the news got international attention.

As now almost one month has passed, the outcry of those trees is reduced to some extent, but now their companion trees are  being slaughtered by people in our own country.

Yes… I am talking about the trees from Aarey colony in Mumbai.

Now if we compare both cases, we definitely feel that innocent trees are being cut under the name of development or progress. Of course that’s wrong.

We being powerful as compared to other creatures on this planet, are taking things for granted and while comparing between environment or development, we should not go for any kind of development under the cost of environment. Right?

But frankly speaking, I am with support of Mumbai Metro. Seriously.

I am not denying the fact that the trees which has been cut, 2700 to be precise, will impact the environment.

But … We, I mean normal human beings, specifically being ‘mango people’ in Mumbai are suffering a lot in public transport than any other people in the country. Right?

Yes it’s Mumbai, the city which is crumbling under unending population pressures and a rapidly deteriorating infrastructure that was never meant to support such enormous human mass.

The roads are choke-full and the 3 poor local lines are ridiculously insufficient to ensure proper connectivity.

Environment or Development?

When I started traveling by train, there were 9 or 12 bogies for each local, now by extending the length of platform and even after making a 15 bogie local ; it’s not enough.

The condition is so bad that boarding a local feels like going for a war. Do or die. Just push yourself inside and you are the winner.

Mumbai has been a magnet for migrants, 25-30 people are migrating to Mumbai from rural areas in search of better livelihood and lifestyles everyday.  I must say, they should not take part in protest.

If they really love environment and worrying about the falling oxygen level , they should return to the respective villages where plenty of trees are present. 

Mumbai will be free and will never need any kind of Metro in that case. But all of us know, that’s not possible as Mumbai is inviting.  The city of dreams. Isn’t it?

What I feel is, protesting against construction of metro car shed to save 1000 trees is not the solution to the problem. Without a metro car shed there is no metro.

Nowadays I simply avoid traveling by local. And when my husband has to travel from Dombivli to Andheri, I seriously feel a sigh of relief when he goes by metro from Ghatkopar.

The government has put in a lot of thoughts on this and even the Mumbai high court has given clearance to go ahead with the plan. For every tree they cut, they have to plant double the numbers to nullify the damage.

Environment or development ?

MMRC director Ashwini Bhide had stated that the metro was designed in a way that would minimize the cutting down of trees and that three times more trees would be planted to make up for the loss.

She further stated that if all the trees that needed to be cut were saved, it would reduce carbon dioxide in the air by 6,100 kg.

However, the Metro would help cut CO2 emission by 9.9 million kgs, by significantly reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

Now tell me environment or development ?

We should understand that, the government is trying to solve our problems and building a Metro, not a shopping Mall or any cinema theater.

Who are protesting :

Bollywood Actors – They don’t even know how  common people survives everyday traveling through the locals and busy traffic to get to their work spending almost 2–3 hours of their day on daily commute.

They don’t know how a metro will reduce traffic considerably. They don’t know how much time a commoner can save per day on their daily commute to work. They don’t know because they have never experienced.

Environment or Development?
Shraddha Kapoor personally visited the site for protest instead of just tweeting

They travel in big guzzling SUVs even when they are alone and sometimes even use private jets, now are suddenly pretending to care for the environment. In my opinion,  these celebrities have a much higher carbon footprint lifestyle than common Mumbaikars.

Though their intentions are good, but  they really don’t know.

They should watch some of the following videos and understand the pain of common man and why Metro is the need of the time.

Anyways, then there are some  Activists – These people are not solution oriented. These are the ones who just watch from the back stage and badmouth anyone who is doing something good for the community.

They are suggesting that the Metro shed should be shifted to Kanjurmarg. But, changing the location from Aarey to Kanjurmag is not logical at this time, as it would not meet the deadline and financial needs of the project.

Actually, they don’t have any clue of the impact that the metro will have on common middle class people and for environment also ; as Metro works on electricity.

With this, the vehicle density will reduce on roads  and CO2 emission as well.

(Why don’t they find any issue in various illegal slum areas which is spread over almost half of the mountains by cutting trees only. )

Other protest is from the young blood, the students. From the beginning only, they are taught that trees are our lifeline and cutting them is wrong. And this is the main reason why students are supporting this protest.

I am not saying not to protest, if anyone is harming the environment. Just know the reason behind it. And then decide to support environment or development.

I know there are challenges, but we have to turn those challenges into opportunities and and help government by plantation of more trees.


These were all points, which I wanted to discuss with you.  What’s your opinion ? Or Do you have any other solution for overburdened public transport?

I agree, THE ENVIRONMENT IS VERY IMPORTANT, but so are the vital infrastructure needs of Mumbai. We have to accept that Metro is needed. To be honest, I am with government in this project. What about you?

– Kimaya

2 thoughts on “Environment or Development?”

  1. I appreciate the details you gathered before putting your thought down. My perspective of the particular issue has changed . Well done 👍

I would appreaciate hearing your thoughts on this.

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