Hours after the Supreme Court ordered on Monday a stay on further cutting in Aarey Colony till its next hearing on October 21, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) said it has cut down 2,141 trees in the colony between Friday and Saturday.
“We respect the order of the Hon’able Supreme Court passed today. No future tree-felling activity at the car shed site in Aarey Milk Colony will be undertaken. Other works, including clearing of already felled trees, will continue,” MMRCL said in a statement.
MMRCL also claimed to have planted 23,846 trees and distributed 25,000 saplings as part of its “green initiatives”. The trees were being cleared to make way for a car shed for Mumbai Metro’s phase III.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court said “don’t cut anything now” while hearing petitions challenging the felling of trees to build a car shed for the Mumbai Metro.
The apex court ordered that status quo should be maintained regarding felling of trees at Mumbai’s Aarey Colony.
The top court’s ruling came after the Maharashtra government said it had already cut down the trees it needed to for its plan to clear 33 hectares of Aarey land for the construction of a car shed and depot.
On October 5, the Bombay High Court had refused to entertain urgent mentioning by Aarey activists to stay the ongoing tree cutting.