Mumbai, Mar 21: The Maharashtra government has come under fire from the Opposition as well as Mumbaikars for proposing to bring the Mahim Nature Park under the redevelopment area for Dharavi slums. The Shiv Sena, Congress as well as environmentalists have begun a #SaveMNP drive on the social media urging people to write to the Maharashtra government and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to not go ahead with the proposal.

The Mahim National Park (MNP) is spread over 16.86 hectares and is home to hundreds of species of birds, butterflies, reptiles and trees. The Maharashtra government’s Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has proposed the Mahim Nature Park to be included in the project to increase the land available for redevelopment of Dharavi slum.

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray took to Twitter to slam the government over the move. “Hon’ble CM sir, the MMRCL is hacking trees in Mumbai, esp Aarey. Now Govt what’s builders to take over Mahim Nature Park. Destruction of environment isn’t called Development. Why is the Govt looting Mumbai of its open & green spaces,” he tweeted.

“I request the Govt to have someone who loves Mumbai, understands Mumbai to depute for planning. Don’t monetise our city’s green spaces. The attempt to let builders build inside Mahim Nature Park is disgraceful. Must withdraw it immediately,” Thackeray added.

Former union minister and Congress leader Milind Deora also tweeted, “Never before have the Maharashtra Government & BMC held a brief for builders & brazenly tried to encroach on Mumbai’s open spaces. Mahim Nature Park today. Priyadarshini Park tomorrow. Wake up Mumbai. Let’s reclaim our public spaces by getting rid of these crooks.”

The notification on the proposal was issued on March 5 and a month’s time has been given to people to raise their objections. Environmentalists have asked Mumbaikars to write objection letters in large numbers to the Maharshtra government as well as the Chief Minister to Save Mahin Nature Park.