The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday made it clear it was not going to stop the construction of the Metro car shed in Aarey Colony in Mumbai. The apex court, however, said its standing order to not cut any more trees would continue.
A two-judge Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta also asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to submit a status report with pictures and details of the plantation, transplantation, and felling of trees in Aarey Colony. The case will be next heard in November.
During the last hearing, the apex court had barred further felling of trees in the area and had ordered the release of all detained activists. The order by the SC had come following a submission by the BMC that it had already cut the trees that were required to be cut for building the car shed.
The SC had convened a special Bench to hear the matter after a group of students had written to CJI Ranjan Gogoi, seeking a stay on the felling of trees in Aarey Colony. The letter petition had stated that Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) had felled 2,100 trees in the area from Friday night, hours after a judgment of the Bombay High Court had refused to set aside the Mumbai municipal corporation’s decision to allow felling of over 2,600 trees.
The students had also alleged that Mumbai Police had lathicharged protesters peacefully opposing the felling of trees by MMRCL and municipal authorities. The letter had said that of the 3,300 trees at the proposed location of the Metro car shed, nearly 2,100 had been axed. Their absence could lead to flooding, the letter had stated.