The Supreme Court on Sunday said it will hear a plea against the cutting of trees for a metro car shed project in Aarey Colony in Mumbai, on an urgent basis on Monday, Bar and Bench reported.
The court said a special bench has been constituted to hear the plea, filed by a person called Rishav Ranjan, against the felling of trees. It added that the plea has been registered as a public interest litigation.
The Bombay High Court had on Friday rejected petitions against the tree felling, after which protests had begun. The police charged at protestors with batons even as many demonstrators had camped outside Aarey through the night. The police had also stopped people from entering the area.
On Saturday, several Bollywood celebrities tweeted against the plan to cut trees. However, it went ahead, and over 1,500 trees were cut in a single day.
The police also arrested 29 persons among 60 who had been detained. However, the arrested individuals were released on a bail bond of Rs 7,000 each on Sunday. “They have been granted conditional bail on a cash bond of Rs 7,000 each,” advocate Aditya Bambulkar, who appeared for the accused, said. “The conditions of the bail also require them to appear at the police station for inquiries.”
Earlier on Sunday, the police detained Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar at the protest site and took him to the Powai Police Station. Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation chief Ashwini Bhide, meanwhile, tweeted that the tree-felling is “destruction that is inevitable”.
“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”.
The Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress have all criticised the felling exercise and blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state. Mumbai Metro Line 3, meanwhile, claimed that it had planted 24,000 trees around Mumbai as compensation for cutting the trees.
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.