New Delhi: Mumbai Metro chief Ashwini Bhide on Sunday defended the tree cutting drive at Aarey Colony saying that ‘to construct something new, some destruction’ is inevitable even as a group of students will meet Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi in New Delhi, urging him to order a stay on felling of trees.

As protests intensified at the project site, Bhide, a senior IAS officer and Managing Director (MD) of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) tweeted: “Sometimes to construct something new destruction becomes inevitable but it also paves the way for new life and new creation.”

The Mumbai Police on Saturday arrested 29 people after protests broke out at the site, late Friday, after videos of Metro authorities felling trees went viral on social media. The Bombay High Court, earlier in the day, had rejected a petition to put a stay on the cutting of over 2,500 trees in the Aarey forest area to make way for a car shed of the Mumbai Metro.

On Saturday, the police imposed Section-144 in the area and erected barricades to prevent protesters from entering the project site. Later in the day, in another setback for the pro-Aarey campaigners, the High Court rejected a review petition into the case.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose son Aaditya is among those against the felling of trees, has said that once his government comes to power, they will deal with the murderers of Aarey forest.

The issue has also sharply divided the city’s Bollywood community with many speaking in favour of the Metro while others have taken a strong stance against the tree-cutting drive.