Aarey Issue: Bombay HC Dismisses Pleas Against Felling of Over 2,500 Trees
Mumbai's Aarey not a forest says Bombay High Court, dismisses all pleas against felling of over 2,500 trees
For the last couple of years, environmentalists have been protesting the decision by Mumbai’s civic body of constructing a car shed for Mumbai Metro at Aarey. They have been demanding relocation of the depot, which is part of the Metro III project, as it will cause the felling of over 2,500 trees. But in a setback for the protestors, the Bombay HC refuses to declare Mumbai’s Aarey Colony forest area. It has also declined to quash approval to cut trees for a metro car shed.
The HC has cancelled four petitions challenging the cutting of trees today.
Activist Zoru Bhathena had challenged the August 29 decision of the MBC tree authority. It allowed the MMRC to cut 2,185 and to transplant 461 trees to make way for the Metro car shed.
A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre said, “The issue is pending before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal. Hence, we are dismissing the petition on the principle of commonality and not on merits.”
The high court also imposed a fine of Rs. 50,000 on Shiv Sena corporator Yashwant Jadhav. He had filed a petition against the approval granted by the civic body’s tree authority.
Zoru Bathena said he will now approach the Supreme Court. The activist also wanted Aarey to be declared a floodplain for the Mithi River.
Aarey Colony, a green belt in suburban Goregaon, together with Sanjay Gandhi National Park, is known as the green lung of the city.Several Bollywood personalities and politicians had also extended their support to the activists protesting against the felling of trees in Aarey.