The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) on Monday said that no more trees would be cut in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony. The MMRC Statement said 2,141 have already been chopped.
The Supreme Court has directed the Maharashtra government not to cut any more trees at the Aarey Forest in Mumbai. The court made it clear that the if the trees cannot be cut legally, it cannot be done at all.
A delegation of students had written a letter to the Chief Justice of India earlier today, ‘requesting SC to take cognizance in Mumbai’s Aarey matter, for stay in Tree-Axing undertaken by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai with Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation and Mumbai Police’. In a release, the MMRC said no future tree felling will be carried out at the site till the Supreme Court gives any further directions, but construction activity in the area from where the tree were cleared will be started. “Following the decision of High Court on 4 Oct upholding permission of Tree Authority the felling of 2,185 trees was undertaken on October 4 and 5, 2019 and as on date 2,141 trees have been felled. These will be cleared from site and subsequent construction activities will be carried out,” the statement said. “We respect the order of the Supreme Court passed today. No future tree felling activity at the car shed site in Aarey Milk Colony will be undertaken. Other works, including clearing of already felled trees, will continue at the site,” it further said.
The MMRCL had started cutting the trees from Friday night, just hours after the Bombay High Court refused to declare Aarey colony a forest and declined to quash the Mumbai municipal corporation’s decision to allow felling of over trees in the green zone despite massive opposition by green activists and local residents. The move in the middle of the night had triggered angry protests. As many as 29 protesters were arrested for allegedly obstructing and assaulting police personnel during the felling of trees.