The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) will have to wait a little longer to cut trees for the construction of the underground Metro 3 as the Supreme Court has extended the stay on tree cutting to May 18. Petitioner Nina Verma, a resident of Churchgate, had sought a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court on May 8, challenging a Bombay High Court order vacating the stay on cutting of trees for the project.
“We thought we had a very slim chance to save the trees but the Supreme Court’s stay has come as a big relief for us,” said Nina. The Bombay High Court had vacated the stay on May 5 and given the petitioners 10 days to appeal to the apex court. “Tree matter was mentioned by the petitioner in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. SC has fixed hearing on May 18. As per the oral directions of court, we are not to cut the trees till the matter is heard on that date,” said an MMRC spokesperson.
The construction of the 33.5-km Metro corridor connecting Colaba with SEEPZ will entail the felling of 5,012 trees. The MMRC wants the stay, which was granted on February 9, to be vacated soon as they need to complete some priority work before the monsoon begins.
“Before the onset of the monsoon we have to complete utility shifting and some other crucial work or it will hamper traffic flow in the monsoon. We cannot complete these work without cutting the trees,” a senior MMRC official had said earlier.