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Mumbai Metro 7 project: Bombay HC issues notices to Maharashtra govt, MMRDA, BMC over protection of transplanted trees

The PIL, filed last year, has sought directions to the concerned authorities to protect trees which were transplanted during work on the Mumbai Metro 7 project

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 09:52 PM IST

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The Bombay high court, on May 6, issued notice to the Maharashtra government, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and others while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO, Shivtej Foundation.

The PIL, filed last year, has sought directions to the concerned authorities to protect trees which were transplanted during work on the Mumbai Metro 7 project. The plea also seeks directions to plant compensatory trees in lieu of the trees which were felled for the project.

Mumbai Metro Line 7 is the metro corridor from Dahisar East to Andheri East which is stretched over 16.495 KM. It is fully elevated and consists of 14 stations from Dahisar to Andheri.

While issuing the notices, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice VG Bisht noted in their order: “the other concern expressed by the petitioners is that compensatory plantation of trees is not undertaken as per conditions mentioned in the permissions granted for felling tree.”

According to the PIL, in 2019, the NGO’s staff had visited several plantation areas to check whether proper care was taken of these trees. However, they were shocked to find that none of the trees were taken care of and were not being handled as the manner as subscribed in the standard journals. The plea further alleged that the MMRDA, in response to an RTI, did not give updated information.

The court has remarked that the authorities need to reply to the allegation in the PIL that compensatory plantation of trees is not undertaken as per conditions mentioned in the permissions granted for felling trees.

It is further claimed in the PIL that the actual number of affected trees is more than 800 and if the compensatory trees are taken into account then the number of affected trees goes up to 3,000 which are affected due to the implementation of the Mumbai Metro Line 7 project.

In December 2016, MMRDA was granted permission to fell 31 trees, transplant 39 and plant 23 for the Metro Line 7 to MMRDA was in December 2016. The PIL contended that subsequently permission was granted to fell more trees.

The HC has kept the PIL for hearing on July 11.

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Published on: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 09:52 PM IST