Aarey: Law pupils approach CJI against felling of trees

A woman holds a poster as she protests against the destruction of Aarey forest which they call "Mumbai's Amazon", after the government approved cutting down 2,700 trees for constructing a metro train car shed, in Mumbai. (AFP Photo)

A group of Law students on Saturday approached the office of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi seeking immediate intervention to stop felling of trees in Aarey forest in Mumbai.

A delegation of students of a Noida-bssed college led by Rishav Ranjan urged the Supreme Court to issue mandamus for stay on cutting of trees by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

"The ‘Car Shed’ is sought to be located in 33 hectare land at Aarey. This is on the banks of the ‘Mitthi River’ and which has tributaries and channels flowing to it and emptying in the river. Its absence can flood Mumbai and it has more than 3500 trees in it out of which 2238 is proposed to be cut down. The question is why should a forest which has 3500 trees in it on the banks of a river be removed," they asked.

The Bombay HC had on Saturday rejected the plea against axing of trees for the purpose of setting up metro rail shed.

A group of activists who protested against the decision were detained and arrested by the police.

In a letter petition, the students asked the court to exercise its epistolary jurisdiction for "environmental concerns and protection of Aarey without getting into technicalities as there was no time for preparation of proper appeal petition".

Since the CJI was out of town, no hearing could be granted on their plea.

In their pleas, the students said there were objections by the citizens and many other locations were suggested for Mumbai Metro-3 project and specifically for construction of Car Shed. However, the authorities decided to go ahead with cutting of the trees

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