Despite taking any serious steps towards climate change problems, Maharashtra government made a formal proposal to convert 5000 sq. Mt of lush green land into a Metro-3 project. As on July 8, 2019, the government proposed the order to cut down 2,702 trees in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony to construct a car shed under the Metro-3 project.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) revealed that 82,000 people had opposed the Aarey tree cuttings online. However, activists challenged the figures and said that the actual numbers surpassed two lakhs. And after the Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed the petitions opposing the act by Maharashtra governments, hundreds of activists gathered last night to protest felling of the trees.
Activists claimed that over 200 had been cut by Friday night. During the protest, over 100 protesters were detained and booked, while over 20 people have been arrested so far. To ensure safety, roads leading to the area are barricaded and heavily deployed by the police. Police also imposed Section 144 in the area as more protesters can be seen today.
Reactions To The Issue
Several tweets lambasted the Devendra Fadnavis government and the BMC over the issue as well. Several Bollywood celebrities also raised their concern over the decision. Political parties also heated the politics on the subject as Shiv Sena chief stated, “When we form a government, I will see to those who murdered trees.”
On the other hand, Union Minister of Environment Prakash Javadekar defended the High Court’s decision by declaring it as the development and preservation of nature. Further, he added that when the first Delhi Metro station was to be constructed, 20-25 trees were cut, but for each tree that was cut, five trees were planted. In fact, instead of the construction of 271 metro stations in Delhi, the tree cover has increased.