Supreme Court judge Abhay Oka questions Thane`s development focus, advocates holistic approach

  • | Tuesday | 21st November, 2023

THANE: Thane native and Supreme Court Judge Abhay Oka, Saturday, took note of the ongoing spate of urbanisation of Thane and questioned if the definition of development here needed to be revisited. "The city once had several industries that generated lot of employment and less dependence on Mumbai but things changed after these industrial lands gave way to high-rises… My personal opinion is that development of any city must not be measured in the number of high-rises, flyovers or roads but more on whether the administration has been able to provide affordable medical, education, accessible public transport for its citizens, he said. Justice Oka who was born and brought up in Thane was addressing a motley group of citizens following the launch of a coffee table book- Thane- The Eternal City written by jazz singer Joe Alavares book launch Saturday evening. He questioned if the city has neglected the environment aspect pointing to the loss of a massive green cover and few lakes over the years. The once famous Thane Haapus is also a rarity these days… The dense green cover at Ram Maruti road or even part of Ghodbunder road has vanished… No doubt metro is important but one must also look at how many were sacrificed for it, he said reminding how the green cover was retained in Bangalore.The soft-spoken Oka also narrated his attachment with the city and how he preferred travelling to and from Thane during his stint as the Bombay High Court judge instead of staying at the SoBo official residence. Making a mention of historic libraries, religious shrines, education institutes and even the ports at Kopri, he said the city had its own identity other than being referred to as Mumbais neighbour. Former BJP MP and president of Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe - in the presence of municipal commissioner Abhijit Bangar and Dr Vijay Bedekar of the Institute of Oriental Study - suggested students from Thane schools be kept informed about the history of the city and also emphasised a Thane foundation day be observed.

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