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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Mumbai civic body receives 450 objections to cutting trees in Aarey for Metro 3 in one week

A BMC official said they had received around 150 letters and 300 emails from citizens till Friday afternoon

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2017 14:23 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
The Development Plan (DP) 2034 for Mumbai has earmarked 33 hectares in Aarey for a car shed.
The Development Plan (DP) 2034 for Mumbai has earmarked 33 hectares in Aarey for a car shed.(HT FILE)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) received around 450 objections in a week against cutting 444 trees in Aarey Colony for construction of Metro-3 line (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz), even as the state government issued a notification to earmark 33 hectares in Aarey as a Metro car shed instead of a green zone.

“Last week, the BMC had issued a public notice inviting objections and suggestions from citizens on cutting the first batch of trees to build a car shed for the Metro project in Aarey.  

An official from the gardens department of the BMC, which conducted a hearing on the objections on Friday, said, “Till Friday afternoon, we had received around 150 letters and 300 emails from citizens. The objections are still pouring in.”  

On Friday, Mumbai mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar also came down heavily on the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) saying they did a shoddy job of replanting trees in Aarey.  "We saw that most of the trees that were transplanted at the site have died. The MMRCL has done a very shoddy job. As far as cutting trees in Aarey is concerned, Sena will reject the proposal in BMC. This greenery is essential for the good health and welfare of the citizens of Mumbai,” said the mayor, who visited the spot with senior Shiv Sena leaders on Friday.

Shiv Sena’s youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray also requested CM Devendra Fadanvis to shift the car shed elsewhere. He said, “We cannot go ahead by cutting a jungle. I request the CM to shift the car shed elsewhere.”

Sources said that close to 500 trees have been re-planted in Aarey and activists have complained that at least 40% of these trees are already dead. Zoru Bhatena, an activist with the Save Aarey group said, "We will keep fighting to save the trees. Everybody knows how wrong this whole exercise is."

Metro-3 is a fully underground line connecting south Mumbai to the western suburbs. The 33.5-km long line will have 27 stations in total. The Development Plan (DP) 2034 for Mumbai has earmarked 33 hectares in Aarey for building a car-shed which has been staunchly opposed by citizens and activists. The MMRCL has proposed to cut 3,130 trees in total. Many celebrities are also supporting the citizens in their endeavour. An online petition against cutting trees in Aarey has received more than one lakh signatures. 

A spokesperson for the MMRCL refused to comment on the issue.

First Published: Nov 11, 2017 14:22 IST

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