The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed the petitions filed against the felling of Aarey forest. The court has hence allowed the Mumbai Rail Corporation Limited (MMRC) to go through with the plans of making a car shed for Mumbai Metro Line-3.
The division bench of chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog and justice Bharati Dangre have also dismissed another petition by Bhathena saying that Aarey Colony was a floodplain of Mithi river.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) tree authority has allowed the MMRC to cut 2,185 trees and transplant another 461 to make way for the car shed.
Activist Zoru Bhathena filed a petition challenging the move on August 29. He argued that the tree authority hasn't followed the procedure for deciding the fate of Aarey forest.
On June 0, the tree authority had called for suggestions and objections from members of the public under the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1971. Bhathena submitted his objection by raising 14 points.
He was called for a hearing on July 8. About 500 citizens raised their objections against cutting the trees down on that day. However, none of the objections was taken into consideration by the authority. The authority did not state the reason for overruling Bhathena's objections. The administration body did not consider the opinion of expert members of the society as well.