ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Myth of Sustainable Development in Mumbai’s Infrastructure Projects

The flip side of the ongoing and proposed infrastructure projects in Mumbai is explored. The concept of sustainable development is juxtaposed with the ramifications these projects have on the environment, and some important ecological questions are raised.

Over the past five years, India has seen a rapid and frenzied execution of projects, mostly classified as infrastructure projects. This category of projects is like a bottomless pit, which keeps sinking the environment deeper and deeper into its abyss. Never before in the history of independent India has there been such a brutal assault on the ecology and environment. The undeniable truth that ecosystems were being permanently decimated did not ring alarm bells in the minds of the planners, the executers, the proposed ultimate beneficiaries or losers. Even if they did, few mustered the courage and conviction to speak for the environment and nature.

“Go away, Go away, Go away, or else force will be used against you” read the banner. For a moment, I thought that I had travelled back in time to the British era when the British would use similar boards to warn Indians not to assemble in public. I wondered if I was dreaming, and pinched myself only to find that I was not. This was a banner in the Aarey Milk Colony, put up by the local police station against the ordinary peace-loving citizens who were engaged in the longest battle anywhere in the world to save an urban forest. The young and old, rich and poor, educated and illiterate had all closed ranks and presented a united resistance to the government of the day that was hell-bent on destroying Mumbai’s green lungs, the Aarey Milk Colony.

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Updated On : 21st Jan, 2020

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