Amidst the ongoing protests against cutting trees in Mumbai's Aarey Colony to build a Metro rail yard, actor Riteish Deshmukh shared his views on the situation, saying "we all need sustainable urbanization and cutting off old trees is certainly not the solution to handle the situation".
"well, I think in a democratic country, every citizen has a right to protest and I firmly believe that each tree belongs to us, citizen, as much as it belongs to the government. Whether it is I and our colleagues from the film industry, we are firmly expressing our opinion on the deforestation of Aarey Colony. It is sad.
"It is really sad that after the court gave the order, without even waiting for 15 days, they have just cut 2000 trees already…I understand the importance of urbanization. But what will we do with that development if it is not sustainable for people to breathe clean air," Riteish told IANS.
Emphasizing on the rapid urbanization that the state of Maharashtra is going through, the 'Housefull' actor added: "I am not saying that every building that is there in the city is eco-friendly, but building developers are working towards it because we have started a conversation around it. We have to create awareness and that is important for starting the process."
According to Riteish, "it is the responsibility of everyone who is getting a chance to develop a piece of land for people, that it has to be eco-friendly and in tune with nature."
"You as a human being need to breathe clean air and without nature, you cannot get that…Sustainable development is important," mentioned the actor who along with his wife Genelia Deshmukh came together as brand ambassador for the Kavya Group Project 'Grandeur'.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) started cutting the trees for building the Metro rail yard after the Bombay high court dismissed petitions challenging the felling of 2,464 trees from Aarey colony.
"By ruining green carpet, what kind of developing nation are we giving our future generation? Yes, we are saying that we will plant 20,000 trees but how many of them will survive? These trees are here at the Aarey colony for 100 years. Today we plant trees and tomorrow we cut them again, that is not how it works. Planting trees is not always the solution, retaining old trees and green carpet is important," he added.
The Supreme Court on Monday prohibited cutting of any more trees in Mumbai's Aarey colony and directed the Maharashtra government to maintain status quo till October 21, the next date of hearing.