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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightSupreme Court forbids...

Supreme Court forbids cutting trees in Aarey Colony for metro

Supreme Court forbids cutting trees in Aarey Colony for metro

Mumbai: The Supreme Court instructed the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation to ensure that no trees will be cut in Aarey Colony. The top court warned that any violation will lead to strict action.

Senior advocate Anitha Shenoy appeared for the petitioner and alleged that trees are being cut down as part of the clearing and levelling work despite the Supreme Court's order. MMRCL argued that no trees have been cut in Mumbai's Aarey colony since October 2019.

The Maharashtra government sought time to collate documents. The three-judge bench of Justices SR Bhat, Sudhanshu Dhulia, and UU Lalit has kept the matter on August 30.

The bench headed by Justice UU Lalit said the counsel for MMRCL submits that her clients have already filed an affidavit that no trees have been or would be cut in any manner. "The said undertaking by the MMRCL director has already been taken on record and MMRCL shall be strictly bound by the same."

The Supreme Court in 2019 took suo motu cognisance of a petition addressed to the Chief Justice of India by a law student seeking a stay on the felling of trees in the Aarey Colony. As a result, the top court forbade cutting more trees.

In October 2019, the Bombay High Court refused to declare Aarey Colony a forest. It also declined to go against Mumbai municipal corporation's decision to allow the cutting of over 2,600 trees to build a metro car shed.

Aarey colony is also known as Aarey forest for being a rich urban forest. It is within the eco-sensitive zone of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Being one of the few spaces left in Mumbai, it is often described as the lungs of the city. Over 27 tribal villages are living in the colony and the forest is the source of their livelihood.

The previous Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government had chosen Kanjurmarg to build the car shed after the city saw widespread protests. Soon after the government toppled, the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-BJP government proposed the Metro-3 car shed project be moved back to Aarey. Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis directed the state Advocate General and the administration to submit a proposal on the same.

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TAGS:Supreme Court Aarey colony Aarey forest 
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