Residents protest against construction on Yeoor forest land
In the past four months, 50 trees in Yeoor forest have been felled and builders have encroached on gover nment lands and are slowly destroying the city’s green lung.
Alleging that even residents are getting affected by illegal constructions in the forest area, protesters marched from Patonepada to the Thane collector’s office on Friday, demanding the preservation of the green area.
Hundreds of residents, citizens and activists protested against the illegal encroachment and destruction of Yeoor forest lands for building hotels, resorts and other commercial structures. “More than 50 trees have already been felled and over 200 trucks have dumped rubble on the forest soil, irreversibly damaging the fragile ecosystem of the Yeoor forest,” said Rohit Joshi, one of the organisers of the rally.
The protest was organised by the Yeoor Environmental Society and a union of volunteers working for the development of tribals and other backward communities.
Ramesh Walvi, 28, whose family has been living in Yeoor forest for more than 50 years, said all residents have been affected by the rampant construction and destruction of greenery. “The wall constructed by the developer has blocked the road to Jambhulpada and Patonpada where 700 adivasis live.”
The protesters blamed developer, Super Dream Real Estate, for illegally encroaching and constructing on forest land.
A forest official, on condition of anonymity, said: “We conducted a survey and gave a notice to the developer, asking him to remove the construction. But, the developer approached the high court and gave evidence that the land is his. So, the construction work has started.”
Developer Suresh Gada of Super Dream Real Estate has denied all charges.
“I have all records proving that the land belongs to me. Twenty years ago, I gave 60 feet land for road access to Patonpada for free. As per 7/12 records, we are the owner. The high court has given me permission for construction activity,” said Gada.