Forest cover loss in Mumbai: A wreaking havoc

Forest cover loss in Mumbai: A wreaking havoc

Cutting down forests to build huge infrastructures and civilizations has become a common act for ages. As time passes man has forgotten the concept of “live and let live” by taking everything for himself leaving no space for sustainable development. Global Forest watch claims India has lost 16,700 sq km of tress cover from 2000 to 2018 and Mumbai alone has lost 60% of its green cover in the last 4 decades. Mumbai is spreading in all directions and its development has come at the cost of the environment. Researchers from IISc claim that 94% of Mumbai is paved and concretized and not only lost 60% of vegetation but also 65% of its water bodies. Also, scientists from IISc claim that any region requires at least 33% of green cover to ensure adequate oxygen to its citizens, but the green cover of Mumbai has reduced from more than 35% (the 1970s) to less than 13% (2017) which is dangerously low being a reason to several environmental problems rising by the day.   

Aarey (north-Mumbai) is the only green belt in Mumbai’s suburbs and the Mumbai Metro Rail Corp has cut 2141 trees for metro construction along with the construction of parking areas. The construction and expansion of metro lines for the convenience of humans have resulted in the loss of homes for native birds and animals and a wide variety of flowering plants. This attitude continues to grow in the name of development where development is carried out keeping only our species in mind.

It is a natural phenomenon in the current world where authorities claim to plant more trees to replace the ones that are cut down, but in reality, this process does not seem to be helpful according to many researchers. The main factors are the type of trees planted and the spacing maintained between them. We as a part of the environment should consider sustainable development as the only way of progress, only then we truly take into account the long term growth.

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