Cutting of Trees without following procedure and precautions, a serious concern

Bombay High Court: A writ petition was filed before the Bombay High Court pertaining to a metro line to be laid down within Mumbai. The grievance stated in the petition is that for laying down the metro line, age old trees are being cut indiscriminately without taking into consideration the provisions of Maharashta (Urban Areas) Protection and Preservation of trees Act, 1975. It has been alleged in the petition that tree officer is not paying heed to the norms relating to procedure and precaution before granting permission for cutting the trees.

Also, the counsel for the petitioner stated that the list of trees to be cut down for the purpose of the particular metro line contains wrong information pertaining to their age, nature and girth of their trunks and there is manipulation in details of the trees to be cut down for the purpose. To this, the Court observed that the concern placed before the Bench by petitioner needed to be dealt with seriously as the number of trees to be cut down was more than 5000.

The counsel for petitioner submitted to the Court an affidavit along with the photographs of the trees proposed to be cut down, along with their details. Petitioner had reported that already 100 trees had been cut down ad it amounted to massive destruction to environment.

The counsel for the Corporation and Metro sought time to file a reply and till then, Court ordered the both the parties to refrain from cutting any tree. [Parveen Jahangir v. Union of India, WP No. 365 of 2017 along with 2907 of 2016, order dated 09-02-2017]

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