By Accommodation Times Bureau
The Bombay High Court refused to restrain the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL), from cutting trees, for the Metro III project .A bench of justice P D Naik and M S Karnik was hearing an application of a mumbai citizen Mr. Kunal Birwadkar, who was accusing the Mumbai metro authorities thatthey are cutting even those trees for which they didn’t have legal permission . Birwadkar also accused MMRCL that they are felling those trees which are chosen for the transplantation .
The BMC’s counsel, advocate Anil Sakhre, said that, its own officials, as well as those from the high court and Maharashtra Legal Services Authority, had inspected all sites in south Mumbai where trees were cut, to ensure compliance with the norms. And that they didn’t find any trespassing of laws. Advocate Mustafa Doctor, appearing for the MMRCL, informed the high court that only the trees marked by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) were being cut and that the Metro Rail Corporation was following all norms.
The court took on the statements and said that as long as the authorities were abiding by the previous orders of the High Court, there was no need to grant a stay, “We are also concerned for the trees but when development projects are concerned, a middle ground has to be arrived at,” the court said. The court postponed the matter for further hearing on June 5, 2017.
The MMRCL put the proposal of cutting over 5,000 trees in several areas of south Mumbai, to pave way for the Colaba–Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line III project. The high court had earlier passed a stay order on the cutting of trees, on May 5, 2017. But it vacated its stay and gave a go-ahead to the MMRCL to cut the trees, thinking about the needed balance between the protection of environment and development.
The court had granted permission to the MMRCL to cut the trees, on a nod by the corporation ,that in place of each tree it would cut in south Mumbai, another one would be planted after the construction work is over. This would be in addition to three saplings that the authority would plant in suburban Mumbai, for every tree they cut.