Mumbai civic chief is misusing his power to allow hacking of trees for Metro-3, say activists | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai civic chief is misusing his power to allow hacking of trees for Metro-3, say activists

According to documents, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has sanctioned cutting 23 trees for a launching shaft at Sariput Nagar, Aarey.

mumbai Updated: Feb 01, 2018 00:07 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
According to documents, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has sanctioned cutting 23 trees for a launching shaft at Sariput Nagar, Aarey.
According to documents, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has sanctioned cutting 23 trees for a launching shaft at Sariput Nagar, Aarey. (HT File)

Activists have alleged that Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is misusing its powers to allow tree-felling for the Aarey car depot for the Metro-3 line (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) work.

According to documents, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has sanctioned cutting 23 trees for a launching shaft at Sariput Nagar, Aarey.

Being the chairperson of the tree authority in BMC, the commissioner of the civic body is allowed to sanction cutting of up to 25 trees for any development work. In another proposal for cutting 49 trees for a casting yard at the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), Mehta has ordered that the matter should be put before the tree authority as there is no stay by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

However, junior civic officials said the proposal will be kept pending if approved, owing to NGT’s stay.

While activists maintain that the NGT had ordered a status quo in Aarey in August 2015, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has denied it on several occasions. Zoru Bhatena, a tree activist said, “It is a shame that the commissioner of the city misuses his power to sanction the cutting of trees. It is also shameful that the government continues to disrespect the NGT’s orders”

Mehta could not be reached for a comment, despite several attempts.