The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited on Friday told the Supreme Court that not a single tree has been felled in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony since October 2019. Appearing for MMRCL, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Justice U U Lalit that I had given a statement earlier. No more trees will be felled for metro carshed in Aarey Colony in 2019 and not a single tree will be felled after that, the Supreme Court said.
“I had made a statement that no more trees would be cut and I have filed an affidavit today that no trees have been cut,” Mehta told a bench comprising Justice Anirudh Bose. and SR Bhatt.
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition alleging that the authorities had resumed felling of trees in Aarey Colony. Mehta said there were some bushes on the land that were cleared and some branches were trimmed so that vehicles could pass through the approach road there. “It was trimming. I have said that in the affidavit. The felling of trees is not going on,” he said.
While taking the affidavit on record, the Bench said that pending further consideration, no specific interim directions are called for in view of the stand taken in the affidavit filed on behalf of the Corporation.
“Suffice it to say, as stated by the concerned respondent, no further trees have been cut after the order dated October 7, 2019 and will not be cut in any way till the next date of hearing,” the bench said in the post. The hearing will be held on August 10.
In 2019, the Supreme Court had taken cognizance of a letter petition addressed to the then Chief Justice by a law student seeking a stay on the felling of trees in Aarey Colony. After the Solicitor General submitted on behalf of the state of Maharashtra that no more trees would be cut, the Supreme Court had restrained the authorities from cutting down any more trees in Aarey Colony.
Green activists and residents have opposed the cutting of trees in the colony.
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