The Bombay High Court Friday dismissed a petition filed by activist Zoru Bhathena challenging the BMC’s decision to cut 2,646 trees for the construction of a Metro carshed at Aarey. The court also dismissed a petition filed by a city based NGO Vanashakti to declare Aarey a forest.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and environment activists related to Aarey Colony.
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“The issue is pending before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal. Hence, we are dismissing the petition on the principle of commonality and not on merits,” the court was quoted as saying by PTI.
The bench further imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Shiv Sena corporator Yashwant Jadhav — a member of the tree authority of BMC — who had filed a plea against the approval granted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s tree authority, PTI reported.
Congress leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Nirupam expressed his disappointment with the court’s decision and said the fight will continue. “I am disappointed with Bombay High court decision on Aarey petition. We will continue our fight against felling of trees in Aarey,” he said.
Residents and environmentalists have been demanding that the car shed be shifted and the trees, slated to be felled be protected instead. They fear that the car depot will destroy biodiversity and pave the way for further development and land exploitation in Aarey.