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Mumbai: CMO Maharashtra returns 'unopened' letters by Mumbaikars seeking scrapping of cycle track at Powai lake

10:59 AM Nov 15, 2021 | IANS

The letter endorsed by over 670 Mumbaikars seeking scrapping of a cycle track through Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Powai Lake and around Vihar Lake was sent back unopened by the offices of the Chief Minister, the Environment Minister and the Principal Secretary.

The remark on the sticker on the letter sent to CM Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya Thackeray said 'No Entry', the sticker on the letter to Principal Secretary said 'Not accepted'. The remarks were put up by the courier service.

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Youth activists ran a signature campaign through the month of October and galvanized the support of over 670 citizens. In addition to the scrapping of the cycle track, the letter stated clear-cut points of contentions and suggestions to better the cycle track project.

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The periphery of the Powai Lake, Vihar Lake and SGNP are all contiguous to each other and hence form a very important wildlife habitat. The cycle track destroys this fragile wildlife corridor and threatens the existence of both lakes and SGNP forest. The secrecy of the entire project has also been pointed out. Citizens have asked for better clarity on the project and immediate publishing of all project-related documents in the public domain, said the press release by the activists.

The signatories have asked for a public hearing as soon as possible to address all concerns of the public at large. Along with Chief Minister, Environment Minister and Principal Secretary - Environment, the letter is also addressed and sent to Hon' Mayor, Additional Municipal Commissioner, MCGM, Municipal Commissioner, MCGM, Dy. Municipal Commissioner, MCGM, State Forest Department and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The ongoing protest has reached its 8th Week (two months), with citizens turning up every Sunday at Powai Lake, a reminiscence to the consistent protest to Save Aarey.

The activists have laid down their demands from the government that include the scrapping of the Blue Lines project from the said portions, immediate public hearing to be conducted to address public concerns and publishing of all data related to the entire project in the public domain.

Bombay High Court had in its recent hearing on the PIL filed by IIT students had asked for a stay on the cycle track project. However, the work inside SGNP continues.

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