Eminent journalist Chaitanya Marpakwar from Mumbai Mirror has won the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Foundation- Prakash Kardaley award for civic journalism. The accolade is for his in-depth reportage on the citizen-led Save Aarey Movement, an initiative against the hacking of 3000 trees to construct the Metro car shed in Aarey forest, Mumbai.
The award, instituted in the memory of The Indian Express’s former Resident Editor in Pune, Prakash Kardaley, honours work in print journalism that highlights civic issues. The investigative reportage began in 2019 when the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation gave clearance to tree felling just before the assembly elections. The follow-up further revealed that the EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) report was given to the tree felling authority just two days before the meeting, leaving hardly any time to study the impact on the proposed shed. The reportage featured how the government overlooked the EIA report that had warned that converting the forestland could lead to floods at the Chattrapati International Airport, Mumbai.
Chaitanya Marpakwar has been Principal Correspondent with Mumbai Mirror, the largest circulating tabloid of the Times of India group, since September 2012. He specifically works in the beat of civics and politics. He specialises in local campaign journalism, transparency and public policy reporting. Chaitanya holds a Master’s degree in Political Communication from Cardiff University. He is a recipient of the Asia Journalism Fellowship in Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. He is the alumnus of the Mass Media department at St. Xavier’s College, Batch of 2009.