Complying with the Supreme Court's order, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) on Monday said that it will not axe any more trees in the Aarey colony area.
The MMRCL informed that only clearing of already felled trees will continue at the site.
"We respect the order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court passed today. No future tree felling activity at the car shed site in Aarey Milk Colony will be undertaken. Other works, including clearing of already felled trees, will continue at the site", MMRCL spokesperson said in an official statement.
In a major relief, the apex court earlier in the day ordered the Maharashtra government not to axe any more trees in Mumbai's Aarey colony and maintain status quo till further orders. Prior to this, the Bombay High Court had upheld the permission granted to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) tree authority to axe tree to make a metro-car shed.
The metro corporation said that on October 4 and 5, it axed over 2, 185 trees in the area in concurrence with the order of the High Court. The MMRCL further informed that "as on date, 2,141 trees have been felled".
"Following the decision of the High Court on October 4 upholding the permission of the Tree Authority the felling of 2,185 trees was undertaken on October 4 and 5, 2019 and as on date, 2,141 trees have been felled. These will be cleared from the site and subsequent construction activities will be carried out," the statement reads.
Aiming to meet the deadline for the construction of the metro shed in the area, the corporation expressed concerns over its delay by six months due to "legal and other impediments".
Elaborating on the green initiative taken by it, the metro corporation said, "As of today, MMRCL has already planted 23, 846 trees and additionally distributed 25,000 saplings."
Last week, a protest broke out in the area after the Bombay High Court dismissed all the petitions challenging the felling of trees. This led police to issue prohibitory orders, thereby banning unlawful assembly.
Following the imposition of the orders, scores of protesters were held and sent to judicial custody. They were, however, released on bail the next day.
( With inputs from ANI )