On Sunday, hundreds of trees were chopped down in Nerul's mangrove area. The area where the trees were cut is the site of a proposed golf course project and residential complex.
According to the Asian Age, the trees were cut between 8.30 am and 3.30 pm on Sunday. Local residents later gathered at the site but failed to bring the tree felling to a halt. Soon after, local residents and environmentalists filed complaints with the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) and local police to stop the felling of trees.
Navi Mumbai-based activist Sunil Agarwal told the Asian Age, "The tree cutting was carried out hastily and even the police were prevented from entering the barricaded plots. In a short time of four to five hours, more than 500 trees in the entire area had been cut mercilessly."
Sunil Agarwal had earlier moved the Bombay high court against the project proposed on a large wetland plot and got a stay order on the construction. Agarwal has written letters to the chief minister, forest department and the Konkan Wetland Grievance Redressal Committee seeking action against the culprits.
Last year, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) cut down 2,141 trees in Aarey Colony. In October, the Supreme Court ordered a stay on further cutting till its next hearing. Then in December Supreme Court extended its interim order that had stayed the felling of trees in Mumbai's Aarey Colony area for setting up a metro car shed. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta, which said it would hear the matter in January next year, said the October 7 interim order would continue in the meanwhile.