Who lit the Aarey fire?
On the evening of 3 December, when a major fire broke out in the forested area of Aarey Milk Colony in Mumbai, there was a sigh of relief that there were no casualties. While environmental activists bemoaned the ecological damage it had caused, they were more concerned about how the blaze seems to be an annual event. Aarey has been caught in a tussle between real estate developers and government infrastructure projects on the one hand and tribal residents and environmentalists on the other. Some activists have claimed how this conflagration is a means to deforest the land and make it more viable for developers to pitch it as prime property. So far, no investigations are being carried out. But, as they say, where there’s smoke…—bf