Amid people praising the Sanjay Gandhi National Park authorities for clearing encroachment from the 100-acre area of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) close to Aarey Milk Colony, advocate Akhilesh Chaubey, Secretary of BJP Maharashtra unit, has written a letter to state Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray about increasing number of illegal encroachments in Aarey Milk Colony jurisdiction next to Vanrai police station.
Chaubey told mid-day, “A lot of illegal construction and encroachment is going on in Aarey forest, also known as the lungs of Mumbai. What is also shocking is the fact that the boundary wall of Aarey administration has been broken and hutments have been constructed. Local Shiv Sena MLA Ravindra Waikar seems to be turning a blind eye to this illegal activity.”
In the letter, Chaubey has appealed to the minister to look into the matter and instruct the authorities concerned to remove the encroachments at the earliest. “I appeal to the environment minister to look into the issue on priority and stop the destruction of the environment. I hope you will take a serious note about the issue because we have high hopes from a young environment minister like you,” read the letter.
It may be noted that increasing number of illegal hutments and encroachment has been a serious issue in Aarey Milk Colony. The forest department has been taking action against structures coming up in their 812-acre jurisdiction of Aarey forest. Sources from the Forest Department told mid-day that the encroachment mentioned in Chaubey’s letter falls under the jurisdiction of Aarey CEO’s office.
What MLA has to say?
Shiv Sena MLA Ravindra Waikar said, “I have always instructed the concerned authorities to make sure that no encroachment takes place in my constituency and hence time and again the concerned agencies and officers have been taking action against any kind of illegal structures or encroachments that come up in my constituency.
With regards to the encroachment on the land in Aarey next to Vanrai police station, the ward office Aarey CEO were informed and the structures were demolished. If any structures have been constructed then the same will be demolished again.”