The Bombay High Court temporarily restrained the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai from felling trees for road widening and constructing a car shed for the proposed phase-II of Metro Rail Project, in Aarey Milk Colony in Goregaon.
The HC was hearing a PIL filed by ‘Vanshakti’, a prominent NGO, its Director Dayanand Stalin and Kshitji Ashtekar, one of the residents of the area among others.
Adjourning the hearing till December 4, a bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah asked the two authorities not to carry out development works of the proposed Metro project (phase II) connecting Dahisar to Mankhurd.
The PIL alleged that the respondents have begun widening the road which falls within an ecologically sensitive area and is in close vicinity of Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
The work involves felling of trees in large numbers which is in direct contravention of provisions of the Maharashtra (urban areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act as well as Environment Protection Act, said the PIL.
The PIL urged the HC to quash and set aside MMRDA’s proposal for widening the Aarey Colony Road and MCGM’s proposal to construct a car shed for the proposed project.
It also requested the court to restrain the authorities from felling of trees for the purpose of road widening and constructing car shed for the project, besides appointing a Tree Authority as contemplated under ‘Tree Act’ consisting of environmental experts to monitor the environment and submit periodical compliance reports.
The petition also pleaded that trees located in the area must be protected and preserved to ensure that ecological balance is not disturbed.