On Wednesday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made an announcement stating that 600-acres of land in the Aarey Milk Colony near Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) would be reserved as a forest. 

They have made the decision to invoke Section 4 of the Indian Forest Act in respect of 600 acres in the 3,000-acres colony. 


Section 4 implies that the government intends to declare the land as reserve forest by appointing a forest settlement officer. Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray added that this decision was a joint venture between Dairy Development Department Minister, Sunil Kedar and Forest Minister, Sanjay Rathod. The fact that at least 600 acres of land can be saved from the forest comes as a sigh of relief to the city.

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The Aarey Forest is the last standing patch of greenery in Mumbai and has been constantly under threat of development projects. In 2018, the cutting of 3,500 trees for the construction of a car shed for the upcoming Mumbai Metro 3 was proposed. However, the construction was halted soon after due to several protests and opposition. Now, the decision to save a part of it as a ‘Reserve Forest’ is definitely a step in the right direction.