A two-member judicial committee
today said the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) should ensure the survival of each and every tree it uproots for the ongoing Metro III line and transplants elsewhere.
The Bombay High Court had in June last year appointed two senior sitting judges of the high court, Justices S M Kemkar and B R Gavai, to head the committee to look into grievances pertaining to cutting of trees as part of the Metro III line work.
Over 5,000 trees are proposed to be cut in various areas of south Mumbai to pave way for the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line III project.
The committee was today informed by one of the petitioners, Zoru Bathena, that till June this year, around 800 trees have been uprooted and transplanted in various areas in suburban Mumbai, of which 583 trees have not shown any signs of survival.
The committee sought to know from MMRCL what steps it was taking to ensure that the trees survive and what measures it would take while transplanting the uprooted trees.
"The MMRCL should take the opinion of experts. Proper care needs to be taken to ensure that all trees are saved. Measures should be taken to strive towards survival of each and every tree," the committee said.
It asked MMRCL's horticulturists to visit the sites, where the trees have been transplanted, on a regular basis and submit a periodical report to the committee.
The high court had last year granted a stay on the cutting of trees, but on May 5, 2017, it vacated its stay and gave a go ahead to MMRCL to cut trees after observing that a balance needs to be established between development and environment.
The court had allowed MMRCL to cut the trees on an undertaking by the corporation that for each tree it would cut in south Mumbai, another one would be planted at the same spot after the construction work is over.
This would be in addition to the three saplings that the firm would plant in suburban Mumbai for every tree they cut.
The 33-kilometre Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line III project will connect the Cuffe Parade business district in south Mumbai to SEEPZ (Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone) and the airport in the city's Andheri suburb.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)