The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea challenging the exclusion of Aarey Colony from the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).
According to a report by Times of India, after the apex court dismissed the plea, a total of 407 acres of green land in Aarey Colony can be used for infrastructure and building construction projects.
The Apex court bench dismissed a civil appeal by environment group Vanashakti, which had challenged the December 5, 2016 ESZ notification for SGNP by the Union environment ministry. “It allows for setting up of all kinds of infrastructure projects (such as the Metro rail projects), commercial establishments, residential buildings, IT Parks including red category industries, in an ESZ area,” the appeal stated.
Earlier in 2019, the Supreme Court had extended its interim stay on the felling of trees in Mumbai's Aarey Colony area for construction of a metro car shed. On October 21, the top court had said there is no stay on construction of the Mumbai Metro car shed at Aarey Colony and clarified that its order is "no felling of trees".
The Aarey forest is located adjacent to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and has five lakh trees, the law student had said in his letter.
The trees were proposed to be cut for the Mumbai Metro-3 project and specifically for construction of a car shed, it said, adding that the high court had refused to recognise Aarey as a forest or declare it as an ecologically sensitive issue because of jurisdictional limits.