Supreme Court Order On Aarey "Moral Victory" For Activists: Shiv Sena

Haste With Which Maharashtra Government Acted In Aarey Condemnable NCP

A special bench of the Supreme Court will hear on Monday a plea submitted by a group of law students protesting against the felling of trees in Mumbai's Aarey Colony for construction of a metro vehicle shed.

A mass felling of trees in one of the world's most-polluted mega cities was halted by India's top court on Monday, amid protests their removal would strip the city of a precious "green lung". The apex court also recorded an undertaking by the Devendra Fadnavis government assuring the same.

Over the weekend, Indian police detained dozens of activists who had tried to stop officials from cutting the trees after a lower court dismissed their objections.

According to LiveLaw, solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Maharashtra government, undertook that no further trees will be cut.

The state government on September 20 told the court that Aarey Colony can not be declared a forest just because of its greenery.

The SC also asked the Save Aarey Petitioners to established the identity of the area that they claim fell in the un-classed forest category.

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The submission came on court's queries whether the area was forest or eco-sensitive zone. They were soon released by a holiday court post a bail bond of Rs. 7000 and also asked not to take part in any protests in future. Only the residents are allowed to move in and out of Aarey. Resolved to save the trees, many protestors gathered at the site to raise their voice against the felling of trees.

That evening many of of activists hugged bushes in Aarey Colony to try to pause the authorities from extra felling.

"However what is worrying is the admission of the Maharashtra Government in the SC that the necessary number of trees have already been cut", the Lok Sabha member from Baramati tweeted.

Uddhav Thackeray, chief of the BJP's coalition partner Shiv Sena, and his son, Aaditya have thrown their weight behind the activists. Congress leaders have also slammed the BMC for axing the trees.

The Supreme Courtroom agreed to listen to the case at present regardless of Dussehra holidays after a gaggle of regulation college students wrote Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, urging him to "exercise his special jurisdiction and go out of conventional way for stay on felling of trees in Aarey by Mumbai Authorities".

It's locally known as the Aarey "milk colony" because most of the land was given to the department of dairy development in 1951.

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