Mumbai: In a reply to the protests from the environmentalists, activists and members of the Hindi film fraternity, Supreme Court on Monday ordered status quo in the Aarey tree felling case. In accord to the order issued to the Maharashtra government, there will be no tree cut till the next hearing on October 21. In the process of making way for a car shed for the metro project in the city, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) had planned to cut some 2,600 trees. The apex court has taken the letter written by law student Rishav Ranjan to the Chief Justice of India as the suo motu. Rishav’s letter has condemned the cutting down over 2,600 trees in the Aarey, which is treated as the green lung of the metropolis.
A Special Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Ashok Bhushan took note of this fact and observed that felling a full-grown tree and replacing it with a sapling was not the same thing. They further ordered to stop the felling as it appeared that it was some kind of forest at some time. The Supreme Court also asked the government that activists who were arrested for violating prohibitory orders during the felling drive at Aarey Colony should be released. ‘In case those are still not released shall be released immediately,’ Mehta assured the court. Mumbai Metro has welcomed the Supreme court’s decision in an official statement released on its social media handle.
We respect the order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court dated October 7, 2019. Following is our official statement. pic.twitter.com/o8CjSmHAB2
— MumbaiMetro3 (@MumbaiMetro3) October 7, 2019