Metro III work causes dis­tress to trees, peo­ple

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI -

Tcon­struc­tion of Metro III (Co­laba-Ban­draSEEPZ) line is likely to af­fect 5,012 trees. Out of this, a large num­ber of trees at ma­jor junc­tions like Cuffe Pa­rade, Church­gate, Na­ri­man Point and Air­port sta­tion which were cen­turies old were cut to make way for this 33.5 km line.

Around 1,331 will be cut and the re­main­ing 3,681 trans­planted as per the ini­tial fig­ures re­vealed by the Mumbai Metro Rail Cor­po­ra­tion (MMRC), the agency manag­ing the con­struc­tion of this metro line. In ad­di­tion, 3,574 trees will be af­fected at Aarey Colony in west­ern sub­urbs. MMRC plans to trans­plant 1,727 trees and plant 3,222 trees to make up for the loss.

Res­i­dents, ac­tivists and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists op­posed the felling of trees legally, by way of di­a­logue with gov­ern­ment and MMRC of­fi­cials and also stag­ing sev­eral protests on the street. Ac­tivists filed a case in HC and the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal (NGT) stat­ing this con­struc­tion was a se­ri­ous threat to the en­vi­ron­ment.

The court then or­dered a stay or­der on felling of trees con­sid­er­ing the claims of ac­tivists. The court lifted the stay on felling of trees for Metro III in May and al­lowed the MMRC to carry on with the con­struc­tion.

Metro III con­struc­tion has also trou­bled peo­ple, spe­cially in SoBo. The HC had tem­po­rar­ily re­strained the MMRCL from car­ry­ing out any con­struc­tion or an­cil­lary work on the line be­tween 10pm and 6am. It then re­fused to stay the tun­nelling work for the pro­posed line since a PIL claimed it was af­fect­ing sev­eral her­itage build­ings in South Mumbai. Par­sis are also op­posed to the line and want the project to be re­aligned as it threat­ens the sanc­tity of two fire tem­ples. Shop­keep­ers in the area are also trou­bled by the up­com­ing dis­place­ment.

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