On June 5, 2019, the Government of Maharashtra signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to set up a zoo in Aarey Colony in Maharashtras Goregaon. The proposed zoo will be an extension of Veermata Jijabai Bhosle Udyan (Byculla zoo).
Out of the 190 acres of government land in the area, approximately 100 acres of land were handed over to the BMC as part of the deal for the development of the internationalstandard zoo.
Tribal communities under the banner of the Adivasi Rights Conservation Committee, Mumbai, led a protest against the decision on June 9. They claimed that at least sixseven hamlets will have to be relocated to set up the zoo. The families residing in the area practise paddy cultivation and are solely dependent on agriculture. The protesters noted that the proposed project will take away their lands, depriving them of their livelihood. They were also joined by urban crowds who believed that Aarey forests are the lungs of Mumbai and should not be destroyed.
Since the signing of the MoU, wildlife activists have been protesting the idea of displacing animals and tribals for the project. Tribal communities claim that the area is frequented by leopards and that any construction activity will block the path of leopards and other wild animals. They have alleged that the government did not consult the local people before making the announcement for the zoo.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Type of Land
Type of Common Land
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Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute
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Whether criminal law was used against protestors
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Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
Maharashtra government, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra Forest Department
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Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?
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Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Adivasi Rights Conservation Committee
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