Former president of Mumbai Congress Sanjay Nirupam Sunday took out a protest march along with local tribals against the Maharashtra government's proposal to set up an international-standard zoo in Aarey Milk Colony.
The state government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to set up the world-class zoo at Aarey Colony, located in suburban Goregaon.
The zoo is proposed to be spread over 190 acres and will be set up at the cost of Rs 500 crore.
The Adivasi Rights Conservation Committee, Mumbai held the march in Goregaon against the government's proposal. Several tribal families that reside in the hilly parts of Goregaon, neighbouring Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), took part in it.
The committee claimed that at least seven hamlets will have to be relocated to set up the zoo.
Prakash Bhoir, one of the protesting tribals, said, "There is no need to put the animals behind cages. We are already suffering from animal-human conflict, which is not solved by the state."
Another protester Chaitali Bhoir said, "We are solely dependent on agriculture. For generations, we have been living in Goregaon. If we lose our land, we do not have any other skills to earn money. Why should we give up our land for such lavish projects."
Nirupam said Aarey Colony acts as the lungs of Mumbai.
"We cannot allow it to be killed. We have to collectively fight and save Aarey," he said during the protest march.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)