Tree-felling for Mumbai Metro gets green light

Press Trust of India Mumbai | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on May 26, 2017

The Bombay High Court today refused to restrain the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) from cutting trees across south Mumbai for setting up Metro line III.

A vacation bench of Justices PD Naik and MS Karnik observed that while they were concerned about the trees, a middle ground has to be arrived at when development projects are involved.

The bench was hearing an application filed by city resident Kunal Birwadkar, alleging that the authorities were illegally felling even those trees for which they did not have permission, or those that had been marked for transplantation at alternate spots. Counsel Mustafa Doctor, appearing for MMRCL, today told the high court that only the trees marked by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are being cut and that the Metro Rail Corporation was following all norms.

BMC’s counsel Anil Sakhre also submitted that earlier this week its own officials as well as those from high court and Maharashtra Legal Services Authority had inspected all sites in south Mumbai where trees were being cut, to ensure compliance with the norms.

The court accepted the statements and said as long as the authorities were complying with the previous orders of the court, there was no need to grant a stay. “We are also concerned for the trees but when development projects are concerned, a middle ground has to be arrived at,” the court said.

The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on June 5.

Over 5,000 trees are proposed to be cut in various areas of south Mumbai to pave way for the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line III project.

The court had allowed MMRCL to cut the trees on an undertaking by the corporation that for each tree it would cut in south Mumbai, another one would be planted at the same spot after the construction work is over.

Published on May 26, 2017
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