Mumbai to loose 2000+ Trees for Metro Car Shed at Aarey Colony

  • Mumbai HC given permission to authorities to cut 2000+ trees in Aarey Colony to clear land for metro car shed as it refused to declare Aarey as forest area.
  • The Maharashtra government and Mumbai Metro Rail Corp Ltd (MMRCL) have confirmed that they have already cut enough trees to clear the land required for car shed.
  • Supreme Court of India put a stay order on cutting of trees any further based on a letter petition addressed to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi by law student Rishav Ranjan seeking a stay on felling of trees in the colony.
  • Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing Maharastra Govt. said that compulsory forestation has been done by the state govt and more than 20,000 trees with GPS-tagging were planted in Sanjay Gandhi National Park
  • Aarey Colony was established in 1949 for dairy development, but cut short by 200 acres to make way for Film City in 1971. Followed by 40 acres land given to Byculla Zoo in 2010

Laws around cutting of trees in India

As per Indian Forest Act, you have to take permission from Forest dept even for cutting trees in your own premises or else penalty of INR 10,000 or 3 months in prison. There is no IPC for this. But each state has its own laws on it.

Tree Authority of India:

  • As per Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, a Tree Authority has been appointed for regulating the felling of trees as well as planting new trees.
  • The authority appoints ‘tree officers’ in every city who are responsibile for protection and preservion of trees within their area.
  • Challenges are that not every city have tree authorities and there is reports of corruptions where cash rich projects get away with bribing the authorities who are in inspection duty

Tags: #General Studies -III #GS-3 #Indian Forest Act #Bio-Diversity #Environment