United in their goal to make Aarey waste-free
Reported by Ravindra Waikar, MP and Former Minister, with Rajendra Pawar, CEO – Aarey Dairy, Santosh Dhonde – Assistant Commissioner, MCGM, Subhash Dalvi – OSD for Solid Waste Management, Rakesh Bhoir – RFO, Dept of Forests and Jalpesh Mehta – Founding President, Empower Foundation, the cleanup took a few hours. Several dumpers and trucks were on the scene, and volunteers stepped in to help cleanup efforts and ensure they went smoothly. The vehicles moved through six major pockets of Aarey and covered areas such as New Zealand Hostel Road, Lotus Pond, Modern Bakers, Ganesh Nagar, Gautam Nagar, Picnic Point, Maroshi Pada, Sai Bangoda and more. At the end of the collection, more than 30 trucks carrying 17 metric tons of waste were picked up and more will be cleared in the days to come. Waiker announced that the campaign will continue over the next few weeks with the goal of making Aarey litter-free.
“Now is the time to make efforts sustainable and all agencies working together can make this possible”
Speaking about the event, Jalpesh Mehta, Founding President of the Empower Foundation, said, “This first-ever mega cleanup campaign, bringing together all government authorities, citizen groups and environmental lovers on a ground of agreement, would go a long way in keeping Aarey clean. . We had mapped out six areas in Aarey with our volunteers and the MCGM team for better coordination of cleaning up the remaining spots across Aarey. The need now is to make the efforts sustainable and all agencies working together can make this possible.
Link between garbage and leopard attacks?
After the recent leopard attacks in Aarey last year, the foundation had submitted its analytical report to the Maharashtra government titled “Analysis of Root Causes of Recent Leopard-Human Conflicts in Aarey Forest: WASTE”. It shed light on the links between trash leading to leopard attacks, wildfires and encroachments and featured images and details of 56 locations with GPS details that were co-linked to nine leopard-human conflicts on three months last year.