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NGOS AND RESIDENTS COME TOGETHER TO PROTEST TREE CHOPPING PLANS OF BMC’S HAJI ALI MAKEOVER

BMC’s decision of beautifying the famous Haji Ali Dargah and its surrounding areas has received opposition from the Tree Authority as the beautification plan includes cutting down of trees. The Haji Ali dargah which was constructed 537 years ago is one of the ancient pilgrims of Mumbai. Built on a small island in the sea, Haji Ali dargah stands as a symbol of hope and devotion for followers and has been drawing huge crowds from all over the world. With the passage of time, one can today see the wear and tear of this pilgrim with deteriorating and peeling walls. Even the pathway leading to the dargah has become narrow flanked by vendors leaving little space for people to come and go. With an effort to keep its identity intact, BMC has decided to beautify it along with its surrounding areas. BMC has also been granted with the required permission and Rs 25 crore from the Centre as this pilgrim falls under the CRZ-2 zone and any redevelopment work requires approval from the Centre. While the trustees at the dargah are unaware of this decision of BMC, they stated that it would definitely be welcomed by them. Even tourists welcomed this decision. However, this plan of BMC is being opposed by the Tree Authority as the plan includes hacking of around 84 trees in the vicinity. To display their disapproval, some residents of the area and members of NGOs will be setting out on a peaceful demonstration to Haji ali and will tie

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