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Supreme Court ban on tree felling continues, no stay on metro work in Aarey

The bench continued its stay on further felling of trees. Green activists insist that Aarey must be protected as a forest, as a buffer for Mumbai.

, ET Bureau|
Oct 21, 2019, 11.11 PM IST
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Mumbai Metro was also asked to place details of the size of the trees it claims to have planted last year.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday continued its ban on tree felling in the Aarey forest but clarified that it had imposed no stay on work on the Metro shed project which had sparked off a debate between green activists wanting to protect the forests and those rooting for the Metro.

Appearing for the Metro Rail Corporation, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued that the Delhi Metro had taken some 7 lakh polluting vehicles off the road. Metro will reduce pollution levels in Mumbai, he insisted, and denied the charge that any other building is coming up on the land.

Justice Arun Mishra, who was heading the bench, also demanded to know the impact of the project on noise pollution. Justice Ravindra Bhatt was the other judge on the bench.

The bench eventually did not stay work on the Metro shed for which trees have already been cut. The bench, however, continued its stay on further felling of trees. Green activists insist that Aarey must be protected as a forest as a buffer for Mumbai. Those rooting for the Metro insist that trees cannot come in the way of the project that will help millions. The Bombay High Court earlier refused to stay the felling.

The activists then moved the top court which has since stopped any new felling. The top court sought a report from the government on the green plan for Aarey if any. It also sought details on the number of saplings so far planted in lieu of the destroyed trees and details about any trees which had been transplanted. Mumbai Metro was also asked to place details of the size of the trees it claims to have planted last year. The case will now be heard on November 15.

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