The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation announced on Monday that it had cut 2,141 trees so far in the Aarey Milk Colony area in the city. The trees were felled to make space for a carshed for the upcoming Line 3 of the metro, which is being constructed.
Mumbai Metro Line 3 tweeted that following the Bombay High Court’s decision on October 4 refusing to stay the felling of trees, work on cutting 2,185 trees began on the same day. As of Monday, 2,141 of these trees have been cut, Mumbai Metro Line 3 added.
“These will be cleared from site and subsequent construction activities will be carried out,” the metro authority added.
Mumbai Metro Line 3 also tweeted that it respects the Supreme Court order, which stayed the felling of trees in Aarey Colony till October 21. “No further tree felling activity at the carshed site in Aarey Milk Colony,” the metro tweeted. “Other works, including clearing of logs of already felled trees, will continue at the site.”
The Supreme Court took up the case on Monday based on a petition by a group of law students against the cutting of trees. Asking the Maharashtra government to halt the tree-cutting, the court told the students to show documents to prove it was an eco-sensitive zone. “It was a no development zone not an eco-sensitive zone,” said Justice Arun Mishra. “This is what we get, show us the documents.”
The top court also asked if all people arrested or detained for protesting against the tree cutting were released. “If they have not been released, release them immediately on furnishing personal bond,” the court said. The Mumbai Police had arrested 29 people among a group of 60 that it had detained on Friday. A holiday court in Mumbai released the arrested individuals on a bail bond of Rs 7,000 each on Sunday.
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