Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation chief Ashwini Bhide said on Sunday that cutting of trees for the construction of a car in Aarey Milk Colony in the city is destruction that was “inevitable”. Thousands of trees are being cut in Aarey Colony to build a car shed for new Mumbai Metro lines. The cutting of trees began on Friday night amid protests.

“Sometimes to construct something new destruction becomes inevitable but it also paves the way for new life and new creation,” she tweeted. Bhide also asserted that the “life cycle [of nature] never stops”. She said that new creation takes root as nature regenerates.

Bhide was responding to a tweet by Mumbai Metro Line 3, which claimed it had planted 24,000 trees around Aarey Milk Colony, degraded parts of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and in other areas of Mumbai. “Promises kept Commitments delivered,” Mumbai Metro Line 3 added.

Earlier on Sunday, the Mumbai Police had detained Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar at the protest site in Aarey Milk Colony. As many as 29 other people were arrested for protesting the authorities’ move to cut trees. They were granted bail on Sunday.

The protestors started demonstrating on Friday night, hours after the Bombay High Court rejected petitions against the exercise of cutting trees in Aarey. The police charged at protestors with batons even as many demonstrators camped outside Aarey through the night. The police stopped people from entering the area, according to unidentified officials. According to some accounts on social media, residents were not allowed to enter the area, and buses were also stopped.

Shiv Sena Corporator Sheetal Mhatre and party leader Priyanka Chaturvedi were among those detained by the police. Their colleague Aaditya Thackeray, the son of party President Uddhav Thackeray, took to social media on Friday night to criticise the authorities. The Shiv Sena is part of the ruling coalition in the state, and is also in power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

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