Ban on tree felling to continue in Aarey: SC

The recent order in the Aarey tree felling case implies that the BMC do not have the permission to cut down more trees in Aarey;according to the civic body they have already cut down the number of trees required!

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On November 15, the Supreme Court extended the Interim order dated October 7, 2019 it had passed in the Aarey tree felling case. The Supreme Court had asked the local body to maintain status quo and stop any further felling of trees in Aarey. The Maharashtra government had however, informed the court that the required number of trees had already been cut by the local body and no more trees will be felled.

The case is listed as a suomotowrit petition as the same was registered after the Supreme Court received a letter from a law student named Ravish Ranjan, wherein he raised concerns about the trees felled by the local body in the dead of the night, the same night when the Bombay High Court dismissed the PIL against felling of trees in Aarey.


After the Bombay high court on Friday refused to declare the Aarey Colony a forest area. It also declined to quash a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decision allowing the felling of over 2,600 trees in the suburban green zone for a metro car shed.However, the court’s Chief Justice PradeepNandrajog had orally observed that he hoped authorities will not start cutting the trees before the petitioners moved the Supreme Court, according to reports.

In 24 hours since 9 pm on Friday, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) cut as many as 2,134 trees in Aarey Milk Colony. To prevent the felling of the trees, many people had come out in protest which was met by imposition of prohibitory orders by the police, which ultimately led to 29 people being arrested, many of whom were students. These arrested persons were then granted bail by a holiday court on October 6, which was a Sunday.

On October 21, the top court had clarified that there is no stay on the construction of the Mumbai Metro car shed at Aarey Colony but the status quo order is only applicable on felling of trees there. The court even asked the BMC to submit a report on the number of trees cut, a status report on activities proposed in Aarey and to submit pictures of transplantation and afforestation.

Practically speaking, the Interim Order, which the Supreme Court ordered to be continued, can be deemed to be inconsequential, and the continuation of operation of the same will have no positive impact on Aarey and Mumbai’s ecosystem.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for December 16.


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