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Major setback for Aarey protestors as Bombay high court dismisses the petitions

On September 20, the Maharashtra government had told the court that Aarey cannot be declared a forest just because of its greenery

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed all petitions against the felling of over 2,500 trees for a Mumbai metro depot its a major setback for Aarey Forest crusaders.

Aarey Activists had been opposing the proposed felling of 2,700 trees to make way for the metro car shed and demanding relocation of the depot, which is part of the Metro III project.

The Aarey Colony measures 1,287 hectares of land and located adjoining the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which is known as a major green lung of the metropolis. Several Bollywood personalities and politicians had also extended their support to the activists protesting against the felling of trees in Aarey.

On September 20, the Maharashtra government had told the court that Aarey cannot be declared a forest just because of its greenery.

“Relationship with nature and love for the environment alone is true and all other relationships are unreal and temporary, is their belief. Their hearts are a temple of devotion to flora and fauna,” said the court.

Activist Zoru Bhathena, who had challenged the decision to cut the trees, said: “Extremely saddened to get this news. We will take this fight forward. It’s a sad day for Aarey today. We will approach the Supreme Court.”

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said: “We strongly believe that Aarey cannot be replaced. It’s unfortunate and we will go against this.”

Whereas Amitabh Bachan and Akshay Kumar have come out and praised the Mumbai Metro project, upsetting activists fighting for Aarey. Last month, protests were seen outside Mr. Bachchan’s home in Mumbai.

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