A vacation bench of the Bombay High Court has refused to stay the cutting of trees that is being carried out for Phase III of Mumbai Metro as residents approached court.
A bench of Justice PD Naik and Justice MS Karnik refused to allow a notice of motion in a writ petition filed by one Nina Deepak Verma, a city resident who had contended in her petition that Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) did not obtain requisite permission to cut down trees as per CRZ regulations.
Although, by way of interim relief, a bench headed by the Chief Justice had stayed the cutting of trees, but the same bench vacated this order and in a judgment dated May 5.
Thereafter, the petitioner sought relief from the Supreme Court challenging the high court order. The Supreme Court refused to interfere.
By way of the notice of motion, residents were contending that indiscriminate cutting of trees was taking place and wrong trees had been cut by authorities. The petitioner relied upon certain photographs in support of her grievances.
Around 5,000 trees are to be cut for this Metro project.
In the judgment, the Chief Justice had directed the Member Secretary, Maharashtra Legal Services Authority, and the Deputy Registrar to oversee the compliance in regard to re-plantation, transplantation of the trees in terms of undertaking as contained in the affidavit filed by Deputy General Manager, MMRCL.
Counsels for both BMC and MMRCL submitted that all the trees were cut after requisite permission from the Tree Authority.
BMC counsel AY Sakhare also assured the court that a junior tree officer of the ward concerned would oversee compliance with regard to re-plantation and transplantation of trees.
Considering the aforesaid circumstances, the court refused to stay the cutting of trees and adjourned the matter till June 6.
Read the Order here.