Aarey Tree-cutting: Activists protest as police restrict entry

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After the tree-felling in Aarey Forest that commenced on Friday night in Mumbai, police have imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of crPc , in the vicinity of metro-rail projects.

Mumbai police also have obstructed the three entrances to the Aarey Colony ,Powai,Western Express Highway and Marol in the city.

Aarey Colony, a green belt in suburban Goregaon has more than 5 lakh trees along with Sanjay Gandhi National Park is known as the green lung of Mumbai.

Following the dismissal of all petitions by Bombay High Court against the cutting of 2,600 trees in the colony for the construction of Metro car shed, authorities started cutting the trees on Friday night, which was claimed to be illegal by the activists. According to them, the cutting of trees is not supposed to begin for 15 days after the authorities have acquired the permission.

After the court’s decision, activists said that they will go to Supreme Court, but hours later, the bulldozers had already rolled into the forest. The cutting of trees was claimed to be illegal by the activists. As per the protocol, once the committee approves these sort of activities, the order has to be uploaded on website. Trees can only be cut 15 days after posting the order on website.

Over 26 people who were protesting against the felling of trees have been detained.

The Environment minister has backed the cutting of trees citing the construction of Delhi Metro. He said,”When first Delhi Metro station was constructed, 20-25 trees were cut down. People also protested against it.Today it is the best metro across the world . Five trees have been planted for every single tree taken down. Currently, more than 30 Lakh people are using Delhi metro.

Besides him, Superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar have also come out in the support of the government. On the other hand, Shiv Sena leaders Uddhav Thackeray and Aditya Thackrey have extended their support for the activists inspite of being coalition partner of government in Centre,State and even at municipal level.

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