Maharashtra environment minister Aditya Thackeray surveys Aarey Colony’s ‘reserved forest’ | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: The notification to declare 600 acres of Aarey Colony as a Reserved Forest (RF) will be issued before the month-end, said revenue and forest department principal secretary Milind Mhaiskar.
On Friday, state environment minister Aditya Thackeray did a survey of the area that is to be declared as an RF along with officials from various departments’ officials. He also visited the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).

In a tweet, Thackeray said, “Along with forest dept prin sec Milind Mhaiskar, environment dept prin sec Manisha Mhaiskar, the Aarey officials, SGNP officials and [email protected]_suneel ji we carried out a physical survey of the open lands of Aarey that would be brought under “Forest” protection.” The area does not include grasslands which are meant for grazing.
The area to be declared as an RF is unencumbered and has a few adivasi padas, said Mhaiskar. “It has rich biodiversity and all the characteristics of a forest,” he added.
The first phase would be to issue the notification declaring the government’s intention to declare the area as a Reserved Forest and appoint a Settlement Officer to settle any claims. In the second phase, the government will take up the issue of slum rehabilitation and the protection of tribal rights. The earlier BJP-Sena government had already announced a plan to rehabilitate slum-dwellers and tribals both from SGNP and Aarey colony within Aarey. The plan did not take off for want of funds.

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