MUMBAI: While the Shiv Sena has hailed the Supreme Court’s order regarding cutting of trees at Aarey colony as ‘moral victory’ for activists, the opposition and the green activists have demanded that the officers responsible should be removed from their posts.
“The Supreme Court’s directives to maintain status quo at the Aarey site is a moral victory for environmentalists and citizens of Mumbai who are objecting to it,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said here on Monday stating that not to declare Aarey a forest was indeed a “mistake” of the government.
“The government even arrested green activists opposing the tree felling. Why is it so necessary for the state to suppress the voice of people?” she asked.
The NCP also condemned the government saying that the ‘haste’ with which the government acted in the case is deplorable.
“The haste with which the Maharashtra Government acted over the weekend in cutting the trees is condemnable,” NCP leader Supriya Sule said.
“The Supreme Court decision on Aarey is welcome. However what is worrying is the admission of the Maharashtra Government in the SC that the necessary number of trees have already been cut,” she tweeted after the SC directives.
Former state Congress president Ashok Chavan too in his tweet said that, “The SC directive was a victory for the agitators and a slap for the BJP-Shiv Sena government in the state.”
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) too said that while it honours the Supreme Court directives and there shall be no felling of trees at the site, the clearing of already felled trees and other works on the site shall continue.
“Following the decision of the Hon’ble High Court on 4/10/19 upholding the permission of the Tree Authority the felling of 2,185 trees was undertaken on October 4 and 5, 2019 and as on date 2,141 trees have been felled. These will be cleared from site and subsequent construction activities will be carried out,” MMRCL spokesperson said in a statement released here on Monday.
“Though the work on the project has already been delayed by over 6 months on account of the legal and other impediments. We still expect to meet the deadline,” MMRCL has said.
Meanwhile, all of the 29 protesters, arrested for obstructing work of police personnel and attacking the during the felling of trees at the Aarey Colony here, were released from jail on Monday morning after being granted bail by the court on Sunday.
Mumbai Police had relaxed prohibitory orders imposed in the Aarey Colony and its surrounding areas on Sunday evening. However, after the SC directives in the case, the prohibitory orders were enforced again on Monday making it difficult for anyone to approach the MMRCL site.