Don't cut Aarey trees for now, Supreme Court tells Mumbai Metro — but it may be too late

Residents protest against the cutting of trees in Aarey forest to make the car shed for Metro project, in Mumbai.Photo/Shashank Parade)(

  • The Supreme Court on Monday stalled authorities from cutting trees in Mumbai’s Aarey colony in the Western suburbs.
  • But, the Apex Court might be a tad too late. Within three days of Bombay High Court giving a go ahead, 2,134 of the targeted 2,600 were chopped.
  • The Mumbai metro which cuts through the area, claims that this clearing is necessary for construction.
The Supreme Court on Monday stalled authorities from cutting trees in Mumbai’s Aarey colony in the Western suburbs. Hundreds of people protesting the construction of a metro car shed in the area, welcomed the decision.

But, the Apex Court might be a tad too late. Within three days of Bombay High Court giving a go ahead, 2,134 of the targeted 2,600 were chopped. On October 4, BHC allowed it by refusing to consider Aarey Colony a forest area.

Mumbai’s Aarey Colony is a green belt in suburban Goregaon which has more than five lakh trees. The island city of Mumbai is popular for its high rises. But, the city also has green belts in and around busy area, providing the much needed relief to the concrete developments.

The Mumbai metro which cuts through the area, claims that this clearing is necessary for construction. After city-wide protests, the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government promised that five trees will be planted for every tree cut for this project.

The project’s activities triggered a protest inside Aarey Colony which also spread to Twitter. The activists intensified their protests after the Bombay High Court dismissed petitions against Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) to save the green zone.

A special Supreme Court bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and Ashok Bhushan said it will have to examine the entire issue and posted the matter for hearing on October 21, before its forest bench.

(With agencies)
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