Bombay HC Dismisses Petitions on Forest Tag, Tree Felling in Aarey Colony

"The issue is pending before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal," the bench said.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Friday refused to declare the Aarey Colony a forest area and also declined to quash a decision allowing the felling of over 2,600 trees in the suburban green zone for a metro car shed.

A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and environment activists related to the Aarey Colony in Goregaon, a major green lung of the metropolis.

The division bench dismissed a plea by the city-based NGO Vanshakti to declare the 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.

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It also dismissed a petition filed by activist Zoru Bathena seeking that Aarey be declared a floodplain and challenging the civic body’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 the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s tree authority.

Jadhav is a member of the tree authority.