Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Supreme Court allows Mumbai Metro to ask BMC to fell 84 trees in Aarey for metro depot

In today’s hearing, SG Mehta reiterated the benefits of a completed Metro project in the city.

…close to 13.85 lakh passengers would benefit from the metro everyday. Now ₹22,000 crores have already been spent at Aarey Milk Colony and now Kanjurmarg cannot be called as an available alternate site and 95 percent of the project is over. Only shunting has to take place, the alternative site is now only more academic.

Senior Advocates CU Singh and Anitha Shenoy pointed out the sensitive ecology in the area as well as the viability of the alternate site at Kanjurmarg.

The [government-appointed] committee found ₹1,850 crores will be saved if it is merged with Kanjurmarg and that it serves as a better place for insertion of trains to come inside or leave. No residential places also nearby,” Singh said.

Shenoy submitted,

There are 40 different species of trees in the area. Look at the tree cover around this place. The Central Pollution Control Board has its own guidelines of which category of industry causes pollution, and a train or car shed is a red category industry which causes most pollution and which will be there in this ecologically sensitive area…It is an endowment for us and we should not decimate it to easily.

Advocate Rukmini Bobde, appearing for the Maharashtra government, said that the Bombay High Court had allowed construction at Aarey, and even the National Green Tribunal had dismissed applications seeking its declaration as a forest.

The top court’s order noted that with the State’s notification from March this year restoring the metro car depot at Aarey, it would not be possible to stay the same in the interim.

Source: Barandbench

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