Hours after Bombay HC Verdict, BMC Starts Cutting Trees at Aarey; Citizens and Activists Come Out in Protest
Several activists and protesters, who gathered at the site outside the Metro car depot site in Aarey colony in Goregaon East, were reportedly also detained by the police.
Aarey forest trees being cut by BMC authorities on Friday night.
New Delhi: Hours after the Bombay High Court's verdict dismissing all petitions against the felling of over 2,500 trees for a Mumbai metro depot, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) late on Friday night started cutting trees in Aarey in the state capital.
Several activists and citizens protested outside the Metro car depot site in Aarey colony in Goregaon East. Some of them were reportedly later detained by the police. The activists also alleged that more than 200 trees have already been hacked.
Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray, who has voiced his protest against the cutting of trees in the past, accused the Mumbai Metro of destroying everything India said at the United Nations.
The vigour with which the @MumbaiMetro3 is slyly and swiftly cutting down an ecosystem in Aarey is shameful and disgusting. How about posting these officials in PoK, giving them charge to destroy terror camps rather than trees?— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 4, 2019
There’s no point for the Central government ministry of climate change to exist, or to speak about plastic pollution when the @MumbaiMetro3 senselessly destroys the Aarey vicinity. This ego battle taken up by Metro 3 is destroying the purpose of making it.— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 4, 2019
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani in a tweet requested Mumbaikars to reach the site and resist the move.
Urgent request to Mumbaikars: Authorities have already started cutting trees in Aarey after the order passed by the BHC today. Citizens are reaching Aaarey forest to stop this. I request Mumbaikars to reach and resist this move right now. #SaveAareyForest #SaveAarey pic.twitter.com/Ng5Yfv61gu— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) October 4, 2019
The BMC also uploaded on its website a letter permitting the felling of trees.
The High Court earlier on Friday dismissed a petition filed by a city-based NGO Vanashakti to declare Aarey a forest. A bench comprising Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and environment activists related to the Aarey Colony.
Residents and environmentalists have been demanding that the car shed be shifted and the trees, slated to be felled, be protected instead. They fear that the car depot will destroy biodiversity and pave the way for further development and land exploitation in Aarey.
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