Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has upped the tempo of work. The Supreme Court has given a green signal to chop the trees down and MMRC has wasted no time. They are not chopping trees down during the day; they are swinging the axe once the sun goes down. This action has not been received very lightly by nature lovers and the Save Trees association. They are protesting strongly against it. So, MMRC have found a way to tackle this. They have decided to bring out the axe on big trees when people are asleep. They were chopping down trees at 2 am on Monday night. According to Tasneem Shaikh, a 500 year old tree was due to be cut down by a contractor but members of the ‘Save Trees’ association arrived at the spot and saved the veteran tree for the time being.
Along with the Supreme Court, the high court has also given a green light to bring the trees down but the supreme court had asked the petitioners to file a petition to the committee which was to be set up by the High Court and because this did not happen, the save trees members are opposing the action. The members say that the committee should be established and should limit MMRC from cutting the trees down till a final decision is made. Trees in South Bombay have not been spared since Sunday. The Supreme Court has not permitted any activity during the night, yet MMRC has gone through with chopping the trees down.
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Mumbai Live got in touch with Sumaira Abdulali from Awaaz Foundation and she said that MMRC is breaching Supreme Court’s verdict. All environmentalists should complain against this activity, according to her.
MMRC senior officer R Ramana, wasn’t available for comment as he was on leave. There was no response from Vaidehi More (MMRC spokesperson) either.