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Setback for Aarey Forest Crusaders as Bombay HC Dismisses Pleas Against Felling of Over 2,500 Trees



Activists have opposed the proposed felling of over 2,600 trees in Aarey to make way for the metro car shed and demanding relocation of the depot, which is part of the Metro III project.

Setback for Aarey Forest Crusaders as Bombay HC Dismisses Pleas Against Felling of Over 2,500 Trees
News18 Creative by Mir Suhail.

Mumbai: In a major setback for Aarey Forest crusaders, the Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed all petitions against the felling of over 2,500 trees for a Mumbai metro depot.

Activists had opposed the proposed felling of 2,700 trees in Aarey to make way for the metro car shed and demanding relocation of the depot, which is part of the Metro III project.

The Aarey colony, measuring 1,287 hectares and located adjoining Sanjay Gandhi National Park, is known as a major green lung of the metropolis. Several Bollywood personalities and politicians have also extended their support to activists protesting the feeling of trees in Aarey.

On September 20, the Maharashtra government had told the court that Aarey could not declare a forest just because of its greenery.

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited had argued in court that the project was of paramount importance to the city. "Every day 10 people die because of overcrowding in local suburban trains. The Metro project will ease the pressure from trains," said MMRCL counsel Ashutosh Kumbhakoni.

Reacting to the judgment, Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said: "We strongly believe that Aarey cannot be replaced … unfortunate and we will go against this."

Activist Zoru Bhathena, who had challenged the decision to cut down the trees, said: “Extremely saddened to receive this news. We will take this fight forward. A sad day for Aarey today. We will approach the Supreme Court. ”

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