Mumbai: Even as activists continue to seethe when they recollect the ‘midnight raid’ of October 4, 2019, in which metro authorities chopped off 2,141 trees, there is a similar situation developing at Parel. In order to construct the Parel Terminus, the Central Railway (CR) is likely to cut 1,500 trees. Environment activists have said they will be meeting railway officials next week to discuss other options.
The Parel outstation terminus is an ambitious project of CR, which will come up at the site of the 140-year-old Parel Workshop. For this, it had received a budget fund allocation of Rs 193 crore in 2018. With this project, it hopes to reduce crowds at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, which are both out of the way for passengers from the Western Railway.
Environmentalist D Stalin of Vanashakti, a non-governmental organisation said they had protested for Aarey as it comes under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). However, the Parel Terminus issue comes under Indian Railways, a totally different jurisdiction. “I had read about trees to be cut for the construction of Parel Terminus. For this, we will meet railway officials and discuss other ways, instead of the proposed chopping of trees,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state's new environment minister, Aaditya Thackeray said, “I have yet to hear about this matter. But I will look in to it as soon as I get details.”
Railway officials expressed their inability to comment on this issue, "as it is very sensitive".