Breaking: No Tree Has Been Cut In Aarey After Supreme Court's Order- Mumbai Metro Tells SC, Matter To Be Heard On August 10
The Supreme Court today recorded the submission of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation that no tree has been cut after its order of October 2019 and will be cut till the next hearing on Wednesday.
The Bench comprising of Justice U. U. Lalit, Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice S. Ravindra Bhatt said that the "in our view the main matter itself is required to be heard on an early date". List the matters before the concerned Court on Wednesday, the Bench directed.
Pending further consideration, no specific interim directions are called for in view of the stand taken in the recent affidavit by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, the Court said in its order.
The Court quoted from the affidavit of the Metro Corporation that no further trees have been cut after October 7, 2019 when the Court had passed an order and that no trees will be cut till the next date of hearing.
Senior Advocate Chander Uday Singh for the Petitioners said that the present government has without considering the earlier committee's report suddenly decided to go back to the proposed site in Aarey instead of the one at Kanjurmarg that was identified by the previous government for the Metro car shed.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation referred to his statement about not cutting further trees and said that thereafter there has never been any cutting of trees. "As on the date of the statement 2141 trees had been cut. The project did not proceed further after that date. Only weeds and bushes on the ground were cleared. There is an approach road, there were branches that required trimming for vehicles to pass through, and trimming took place. No trees were cut. They have shown photographs of some other areas".
Inaccurate statements coming from litigants in PILs leave a bad taste, Tushar Mehta added.
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, Mumbai.
The cutting of the trees in the Aarey Forest had led to protests by 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.