Breaking: Aarey Metro Shed- SC To Hear Pleas On Aug 30, MMRCL Undertakes Not To Cut Trees Till Then
The Supreme Court today permitted the extension of undertaking by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (MMRCL) about not cutting trees for the construction of Aarey Metro Shed, till the next hearing on August 30.
The Bench comprising of Justice U. U. Lalit, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia granted two days as the last opportunity to place on record additional documents. The matter will be listed on August 30.
The Counsel for MMRCL submitted that it has already filed an affidavit that no tree has been cut after the Court's order and will not be cut in any manner untill further orders. The said undertaking given by the Director of MMRCL was taken on record and the Court recorded in the order that the MMRCL will be bound by the undertaking.
Senior Advocate Anitha Shenoy for the Petitioners prayed for an order that no development work will be undertaken by the MMRCL since according to her MMRCL has done "levelling" after the previous hearing. The Court said that it is just a matter of a few days and that if MMRCL violates the undertaking, Court will take a serious view.
The Court had on the previous hearing noted the statement made by the Solicitor General that the MMRCL did not cut any tree after the Court's order of October 2019 and will be cut till today's hearing. The Court had directed the parties to file a convenience compilation.
The Supreme Court had suo moto taken up the issue on October 7, 2019 on the basis of a letter petition by law student Rishabh Ranjan against cutting of trees for the construction of a Metro Shed in Aarey Forest Area, Mumbai.
The cutting of trees in the Aarey Forest had led to protests by the environmental activists and residents of the area.
Earlier, the Bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Ashok Bhushan in its order that a "status quo be maintained with respect to cutting of trees."
In August 2019 Mumbai Civic Body Tree Authorities approved a proposal to cut 2,185 trees from Aarey for construction. A series of pleas were filed in Bombay High Court but they were all dismissed. In the meanwhile, MMRCL began cutting the trees.