The BMC Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that they have just taken a decision to fell 2,646 trees for the construction of Metro car shed at Aarey, but permission for the same was yet to be given.
A petition filed by Zoru Bhathena, challenging the decision of Tree Authority to approve felling of trees, said that the resolution dated August 29, passed by the authority for the removal of trees was a “brazen breach” of the high court’s order passed in July this year.
The HC order said the opinion of expert members on the team must be valued and should become an essential facet of decision-making. This decision must contain the reason why the objection was being overruled, it added.
Senior counsel Ravi Kadam, for the BMC, told the court that the permission to fell trees was yet to be given, and that it was just a decision taken by the Tree Authority. He also informed the court that according to the Tree Act, no tree shall be felled until 15 days after such a permission is given.
Senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas told the court that they were challenging the procedure which was followed by the Tree Authority, to which Kadam said that the “challenge is made on the basis of draft of minutes of the meeting, which they had stolen and I will mention about that in my affidavit”.
A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre allowed BMC to file its reply in a week and posted the matter on September 17.
The petition alleged that resolution was passed “in haste due to the impending Assembly elections and the model code of conduct likely to come into effect”.