The Supreme Court Thursday asked petitioner Nina Verma to approach the two-member committee to be appointed by the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court to ensure compliance of orders issued by the HC in connection with transplantation and re-plantation of trees to be felled for the Metro 3 project.
Verma had moved the apex court challenging an HC order vacating the stay on cutting of trees for the Metro 3 project. The stay had been in effect from February 9.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who represented the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), said: “The Supreme Court has upheld the Bombay High Court order and the stay has been vacated with the only exception that the petitioners can now approach the committee set up by the Bombay High Court in case of any grievance.”
“The Supreme Court heard the special leave petition filed by Verma challenging the Bombay High Court order on vacating of a stay on cutting of trees. The Supreme Court has confirmed the High Court order and refused any relief on the stay vacated by the High Court on the affected trees, stating that the High Court order was well reasoned,” said an MMRC spokesperson.
The Bombay High Court, in its order on May 5, had appointed the Member Secretary of the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority and the Deputy Registrar to oversee compliance with regard to the transplantation and re-plantation of trees.
The High Court had also directed a committee of two HC judges to be nominated by the chief justice to oversee the compliance. Nina Verma, the petitioner, said, “I am happy that the court has given us time to approach the committee. We hope this will give us a chance to save as many trees as possible.”
Construction of the 33.5-km underground Metro entails felling of 1,074 trees along its alignment apart from more trees in Aarey Colony where the Metro car shed will be located. The MMRC now plans to complete its priority work before the onset of monsoon, which had been held up due to the stay on felling of trees. “Before the monsoon begins, we want to complete some work like the utility shifting. In some places, we could not do this without cutting the trees,” an MMRC official had said earlier.