The Supreme Court on Monday clarified that it will not stop the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) project to build a car shed in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta further asked MMRCL to submit a report with pictures on how many saplings have been sown and how many trees transplanted in Aarey colony area of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the civic body BMC, assured the bench that no further tree felling is being done in Aarey colony and complete status quo is being maintained following apex court’s last order.
The top court posted the matter for further hearing on November 15, adding that no trees will be cut till then.
On October 7, the Supreme Court asked the Maharashtra government to not cut more trees in the metro-rail project site in the Aarey Colony.
On October 5, 29 activists were arrested after a huge ruckus by environmentalists protesting tree felling. They were arrested on charges of disturbing public order and obstructing government officials from performing their duties.
Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) had started hacking trees from October 4 to make way for a car shed, hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and activists challenging the decision to allow felling of over 2,700 trees in the prime green lung of the city.
The Metro Bhavan, to be built at a cost of around Rs 13 crore, will be spread over 1.14 lakh sq metres in the lush green Aarey Colony, Goregaon.
The state government on September 20 told the court that Aarey Colony cannot be declared a forest just because of its greenery.
Known as the Green lung of Mumbai, the Aarey Colony is situated near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.