NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday extended its interim stay on the felling of trees in Mumbai's Aarey Colony area for construction of a metro car shed.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said the October 7 order in connection with the interim stay on the felling of trees will continue till the next hearing on the matter in January.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing one of the petitioners, informed the court that the new government in Maharashtra is exploring a different site for the purpose of metro shed. The bench replied that it is not influenced by such things.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the bench the state government is yet to file a reply on the category of the Aarey colony -- is it forest land or not.
To this, the court said the counsel should take instruction and place the matter on record before it.
On October 21, the top court had said there is no stay on construction of the Mumbai Metro car shed at Aarey Colony and clarified that its order is "no felling of trees". The authorities concerned informed the court that felling of trees will not occur at the site and complete status quo would be maintained. The court had asked for pictures of afforestation, transplantation, and tree felling carried out so far at the site.
During the hearing, a counsel raised a query on the report in connection with the trees cut, afforestation and trans-plantation carried out in lieu of felling of trees at the site. The counsel for the Mumbai metro said everything has been filed.
Mumbai Metro claimed after the tree felling it has transplanted over 5,000 trees and assured the court that as per its interim order, complete status quo is being maintained.