Despite raging protests against the government proposal to cut trees in Mumbai’s Aarey forest, the authorities of Friday have begun slashing down 1,000s of trees for the erection of the car shed of Metro-3. Moreover, several activists protesting against the same have been detained while FIRs against as many as 38 protesters have also been filed.
The tree cutting reportedly began at midnight. Activists gathered at Aarey Colony after a video showing a tree being cut was widely circulated on social media. They alleged the trees were being cut illegally.
Multiple teams of police have been deployed in an around the Aarey forest to rein protests.
“The permission for the tree cutting of Aarey metro 3 Car shed depot was uploaded on the MCGM website on 4th October 2019 evening and tree cutting began the same night. The courts are shut for the weekend and then for Dussehra. We need time to challenge this in court, which we will not have and by the time courts reopen, the forest will be gone,” the activists said in a statement.
Moreover, the Bombay High Court on Friday cancelled four FIRs seeking a ban on cutting of trees in the Aarey Colony. The court denied interventions saying the case is pending before the Supreme court and National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Aarey forset the only gree relief in the city is an integral part of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It is home to over 5 lakh trees, rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and also leopards. Several advaisi existences have also been reported in the area, thus making it even more crucial.
Several people took on social media to criticize Aaditya Thackeray who has been vocal on the issue. Thackeray had earlier said that he won’t let authorities erode the lush green patch of land.