Mumbai’s Aarey Colony Not A Forest Area, Says Bombay High Court
The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to declare Aarey Colony a forest area and declined to quash Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's decision for felling over 2,600 trees in the suburban green zone for Mumbai Metro’s car shed.
A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre dismissed four petitions filed by non-governmental organisations and environment activists related to Aarey Colony in Goregaon, a major green lung of Mumbai.
The division bench dismissed a plea by city-based NGO Vanshakti to declare Aarey Colony a forest area.
"The issue is pending before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal. Hence, we are dismissing the petition on the principle of commonality and not on merits," the court said.
The Bombay High Court also dismissed a petition filed by activist Zoru Bathena seeking that Aarey be declared a floodplain and challenging the BMC’s approval to Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. to cut 2,656 trees in Aarey Colony to set up a car shed.
The bench imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Shiv Sena corporator Yashwant Jadhav, who had filed a plea against the approval granted by BMC tree authority. Jadhav is a member of the tree authority.