Mumbai: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the BMC’s notice calling for suggestions and objections for axing 177 trees at Aarey Colony to construct a car shed for Metro Line 3.
An application was filed by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) seeking permission to fell 84 trees as per the relief granted by the Supreme Court (SC).
On Jan 12, the Tree Authority of the BMC issued a notice following the MMRCL’s application, calling for objections and suggestions for felling 177 trees.
The plea, filed by activist Zoru Bathena, claims that the notice issued by the Tree Authority is in violation of the SC order of Nov 2022, which only allowed felling 84 trees. In Oct 2019, the SC, had taken suo moto cognisance of felling of trees at Aarey and restrained the authorities from felling any more.
“The BMC notice dated Jan 12, 2023, is for the removal of 177 trees, having a different set of tree ID numbers in comparison to the MMRCL’s application, which was only for 84,” reads Mr Bathena’s plea.
The Metro car shed project at Aarey has been embroiled in controversy since 2014. Environmentalists have held protests against indiscriminate felling of trees in the area which they claim is a forest area.
In 2019, when the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, led by Uddhav Thackeray, came to power, it was decided to shift the car shed to suburban Kanjurmarg. However, in June 2022, the Eknath Shinde-led government reversed the MVA’s decision.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)