Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Money talks, and how.

While in Bombay last week, I visited a friend who lives in Goregaon, a city suburb near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (commonly known as the Borivili National Park). He showed me the outrage that is taking place here. A section of a hillock adjoining the protected forest has been blasted out of existence and is the site of a massive real estate development project by a major builder.

This is completely illegal, and in fragrant violation of the country's forest and environmental protection laws. Yet it can take place, because the power of money in Bombay wipes out anything that comes in its way.

Another vast area of adjoining land belonging to the forest department has been parcelled into small plots and sold - I believe at Rs 20,000 a plot - by the local legislator to migrant worker families.

The future of our nation rests on the people, and if the power of money prevails over people's concern and will on public domain matters - then its a very grim future indeed that's in store.

For what its worth, I e-mailed the link to this post to The President of India, and the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt of India.

On the top of the picture is the boundary wall of the
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and the adjoining section
of the hillock has been blasted away.

A view of the builder's project site, where a hillock
earlier stood.

Another view of the project site.

Another view of the project site.

A close-up of a section of the massive project site.

Huts built on land adjacent to the hillock.

More huts.

The hutments in perspective.

The city marches in for the kill.


irving said...

Doesn't the developer realize that when a heavy rain comes, it will wash the rest of the hillock into the homes in a mud slide?

Ya Haqq!

rama said...

You are absolutely right brother Irving. And in that event, the first victims would be the workers in the hutments colony. The cleared site would have high-rise buildings. An immense mud-slide could lead to the collapse of these structures. But from what has been already done - as shown in the pics - and the soil structural instability created, it means that the section of the protected forest behind the boundary wall - is as good as finished.

This can happen in India, and not "out there" in some remote corner, but right in the prime metropolis of the country, in sight of thousands of well-off, educated citizens, who are powerless and lacking in will to do anything, if at all it struck them as a matter of concern.

Whose heart bleeds for the soil and forests of India?



Riot said...

This is an outrage indeed. I am glad that you have sent this over to the authorities. Do post if you hear anything back