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Bombay HC dismisses petitions challenging felling of trees in Aarey for metro car shed

By Vishal S
|

Mumbai, Oct 04: In a setback to environmental activists, the Bombay High Court on Friday dismisses petitions challenging the proposed felling of over 2,600 trees in Aarey to make way for the metro car shed.

This is a major blow to the 'The Save Aarey movement' which opposes the car shed construction

by chopping off over 2,600 trees.

Aarey Forest

On September 20, the Maharashtra government had told the court that Aarey cannot be declared as forest just because there is greenery there.

[Why saving Aarey forest is important for Mumbai]

The Tree Authority had approved MMRCL's proposal to cut 2,185 trees and uproot and replant elsewhere another 461 trees.

Green activists are opposed to the felling of trees in Aarey Colony, which, together with Sanjay Gandhi National Park, is known as the green lung of the metropolis. MMRCL and the BMC have argued that metro is in larger public interest.

Why Aaray forest is important?

It is a well-known fact that green cover in cities can help tackle rising air pollution. The Nature Conservancy's study reports how urban trees can remove up to a quarter of PM pollution within a few meters, and can even function as a barrier for local residents, filtering bad air.

A study published in The Nature Conservancy says urban trees can remove as much as a quarter of the particulate matter pollution within a few meters, and when planted in the right places, can offer a very effective barrier, filtering bad air and protecting local residents.

[No trees to be cut in Mumbai's Aarey colony for 15 days: Bombay HC amid protests]

It adds that cities with high population density, high levels pollution and heat, and a low cost of planting trees showed the highest return on investment - Delhi ranked third among 245 countries that would have the highest return on investment (ROI) in reducing particulate matter, Mumbai fifth and Ahmedabad seventh. In terms of ROI in reducing heat, Mumbai ranked number 2.

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