The Bombay High Court on Wednesday continued to hear the matter regarding felling of trees at Aarey Colony in Mumbai for the purposes of building a car shed for Mumbai Metro.
Court enquired from Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) about the 41-hectare land in Kanjurmarg which was dispute free and was recommended by the Technical Committee for the bus depot.
The division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nadrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre is hearing a batch of petitions opposing the Tree Authority's resolution to remove 2646 trees at Aarey. On Tuesday, Court had clarified that no trees will be cut until September 30.
In the pre-lunch session, Court heard Dr.Rajendra Shinde, an expert Botanist on the limited issue of how Aarey is a forest. One of the petitioners is Vanashakti Public Trust, an NGO which has sought declaration of Aarey as a forest. Dr.Shinde also submitted a substantive report on the subject.
Thereafter, in the post-lunch session, Court referred to the Technical Committee's report which had recommended that the said metro car shed can be shifted to Kanjurmarg. Court sought an explanation from MCGM's lawyer who did not dispute that there was indeed a government land of 41 hectares in the Kanjurmarg area.
The bench then asked why an application seeking High Court's permission to use the 41 hectare plot in Kanjurmarg was filed when there is no dispute.
Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) needs to build pillars on a disputed plot to reach the 41 hectare undisputed plot, the lawyer replied.
Petitioners pointed out that these pillars are being built on JVLR (Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road) which also goes through the disputed plot, which court permitted many years ago.
The bench observed that in Delhi one depot/shed is 10 kilometres away from one line & another depot/shed is in the middle of another line, which raises the question why the same can't be done in Mumbai.
Court has now called for the papers related to the Kanjurmarg site to be submitted for perusal tomorrow.