`How green was my Thane`, recalls SC judge

  • | Tuesday | 21st November, 2023

THANE: Thane native and Supreme Court judge Abhay Oka took note of the ongoing spate of urbanisation of Thane and asked 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 group of citizens after the launch of a coffee table book, Thane - The Eternal City written by jazz singer Joe Alvares at the book launch on Saturday.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 look at how many were sacrificed for it," he said, noting how the green cover was retained in Bengaluru.He narrated his attachment to the city and how he preferred travelling to and fro Thane during his stint as Bombay high court judge, instead of staying at the official residence at south Mumbi. Making a mention of historic libraries, religious shrines, education institutes and even ports at Kopri, he said the city had its own identity.Former MP from BJP and president of Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, in the presence of civic chief Abhijit Bangar and Dr Vijay Bedekar of Institute of Oriental Study suggested school pupils be informed of history.

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