Megastar Amitabh Bachchan received flak all through Wednesday morning for showing support for metro construction in Mumbai, at a time when people are protesting against the cutting of trees in Aarey forest for new rail lines to be laid.
Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit tweeted: “Respected @SrBachchan Sir. We as activists fighting to #SaveAarey would like to know whether this tweet means that you support #MetroCarshed at Aarey? Why Massacre 2700 fully grown trees when one has alternatives. Development at the cost of nature is dangerous to mankind.”
Pandit’s comment came in response to Big B’s tweet on Tuesday that read: “Friend of mine had a medical emergency, decided to take METRO instead of his car. Came back very impressed said was faster, convenient and most efficient. Solution for pollution. Grow more trees, I did in my garden. Have you?”
The official Twitter account of the Mumbai Metro had replied to the star’s message: “@SrBachchan We are really glad that your friend could rely on Metro in an urgent situation. And thank you so much for sharing this experience with Mumbaikars.”
On Wednesday, however, even as Aarey activists protested outside the megastar’s home, a user wrote on Twitter: “What if patient dies in #Metro or he isn’t able to spend on fares @MMRDAOfficial. Instead provide hospital which serves the tribals of #AareyForest free. Be on the side of humanity #AmitabhBachchan, bcoz wealth doesn’t sustains throughout the whole life #Mumbai #AareyAiklaNa.”
Incidentally, Bachchan had earlier protested against Metro construction in 2010, stating that a rail line being laid next to his bungalow, Prateeksha, would invade privacy at his residence, according to a report in “latestly.com”.
“It is finally happening. The metro rail being laid over the metropolis called Mumbai, some under the ground, some above over large tracts of cement structures is taking shape. There is general happiness from the commuters, for, the misery of crowded locals and the uncertainties of the three wheeler or the yellow black cab shall hopefully be greatly reduced. But here is the killer.. its going to roll over Prateeksha!” he had written in his blog on Tumblr.
Earlier this week, actors Katrina Kaif and Arjun Rampal became the latest Bollywood celebrities to express disappointment over the Mumbai civic body decision to cut down 2,700 trees in Aarey Colony to accommodate a proposed Metro car shed project.