Aarey Forest: Bombay High Court has rejected fresh plea of activists seeking to stop tree cutting at Aarey intended to clear space for Metro car shed. The issue of tree cutting at Aarey flared up on Friday night as authorities in Mumbai began cutting tree in Aarey Colony just hours after Bombay High Court dismissed older pleas urging it to stay cutting of 2600 trees to make way for Mumbai Metro car shed. Video of the tree cutting immediately went viral on social media.
On Saturday, a few environmental activists filed a fresh plea in Bombay High Court urging it to stop Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd from cutting 2600 trees in Aarey colony. The pleas have now been rejected.
As authorities moved in to cut trees in Aarey Colony late last night, Mumbaikars and even people from other parts of the country took to social media to condemn the act.
This resulted in hashtag #AareyForest quickly becoming number one countrywide trend on Twitter. This was unusual considering that the video went viral at midnight on Friday. This brings out the extent to which issue of Aarey Colony resonates with Mumbaikars. The green belt in Aarey is connected with that in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, a 104 sq km lush-green jungle right in the middle of Mumbai. The jungle is a part of the natural habitat of wild animals like leopards which are found deep inside the greenery.
The jungle, considered to be 'green lungs of Mumbai' is shrinking with each passing day due to encroachment. Cutting of trees has, therefore become a fresh concern for Mumbaikars. There was a huge outcry on social media in spite of the fact that the tree cutting was taking place in the wee hours of Saturday.
Political leaders like Aaditya Thackeray made late-night tweets condemning the act of the authorities, termed 'sneaky' by many netizens.
"There’s no point for the Central government ministry of climate change to exist, or to speak about plastic pollution when the
@MumbaiMetro3 senselessly destroys the Aarey vicinity. This ego battle taken up by Metro 3 is destroying the purpose of making it," tweeted Aaditya Thackeray.
Watch | Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi was detained today following protests in AareyForest