200 Activists Detained, Roads Leading to Aarey Blocked by Cops as Tree Felling Begins in Mumbai’s ‘Green Lung’

Activists claimed that the felling of trees was illegal as proper procedure was not followed. According to them, trees can be cut only after 15 days of uploading the permission to cut them.

Mumbai: Hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed all petitions against the felling of over 2,500 trees for a Mumbai metro depot at Aarey, authorities swung into action and began felling trees much to the dismay of activists.

Around 200 people were detained as activists and locals gathered in large numbers to stop the cutting down of trees. Several people also managed to enter the proposed site of the metro depot.

Activists claimed that the felling of trees was illegal as proper procedure was not followed. According to them, trees can be cut only after 15 days of uploading the permission to cut them.

Zoru Bhathena, one of the petitioners in the Aarey matter, tweeted: “Trees are being illegally cut at Aarey on Metro Depot plot. No tree can be cut for 15 days from permission. Permission has been uploaded on 04.10.19 at 4pm on MCGM website. Kindly stop this illegal act & book the illegal tree cutters.”

Responding to the allegations, Managing Director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited Ashwini Bhide tweeted: “A new false propaganda is in the air that 15 days notice is required after tree authority order getting uploaded on website. This is absolutely baseless. Tree Authority order is issued on 13th Sept 19. 15 days r over on 28th Sept. Action awaited till Hon HC verdict was out (sic).”

Activists, however, claimed that the date of uploading the letter on the website would be taken into consideration and not the date of issuing the letter.

Mumbaikars also took to Twitter to oppose the tree cutting.

Attacking the Centre over the move, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray tweeted: “There’s no point for the Central government ministry of climate change to exist, or to speak about plastic pollution when the @MumbaiMetro3 senselessly destroys the Aarey vicinity. This ego battle taken up by Metro 3 is destroying the purpose of making it.”

Source: News18

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