New Delhi: The Mumbai Police on Saturday imposed Section-144 in Aarey Colony, where a protest was held late last night against the felling of trees, after the Bombay High Court’s order on Friday.
According to reports, all entry and exit points to the tree felling site have been barricaded. There are also reports of several protesters being detained by the Mumbai Police.
The flashpoint began last night when Mumbai Metro authorities began a tree cutting drive, just hours after the Bombay High Court turned down a petition to put a stay on the felling of trees to construct a Metro shed at the site. In the plea, the petitioners had alleged that nearly 2,600 trees will be axed to come up with the Metro shed.
Protesters gathered at the site after videos emerged on social media showing authorities cutting down the trees. They broke barricades erected at the site and raised anti-government slogans before being detained by the police.
The row pertains to the construction of a proposed car shed of the Mumbai Metro at Aarey Colony which is a green belt. It is said to have five lakh trees and residents and protesters allege that cutting down of trees will lead to more land exploitation of the area.
Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray, who is a vocal supporter of the ‘Save Aarey’ campaign tweeted: “A project that should be executed with pride, the Metro 3, has to do it in the cover of the night, with shame, slyness and heavy cop cover. The project supposed to get Mumbai clean air is hacking down a forest with a leopard, rusty-spotted cat and more
Bollywood actors Farhan Akhtar and Dia Mirza have also spoken out against the tree felling drive.
Others like, Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar, meanwhile, have given statements in favour of the Metro.