‘No more trees need to be cut’ in Mumbai’s Aarey: Supreme Court

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An activist holds a placard during a protest against cutting down of trees for a proposed metro car shed project at Aarey Colony in Mumbai, India.

Mumbai: No more trees need to be cut in Mumbai’s Aarey and those that needed to be removed have been cut, the Maharashtra government today told the Supreme Court. The court said no more trees would be cut in the area until the next hearing on October 21. The Supreme Court took up the case after a group of law students wrote to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. “What is required to be cut has been cut. No further cutting of trees is required,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court, representing the Maharashtra government. The court, posting the case to an environment bench, ordered status quo. On Sunday, 29 activists arrested during protests on Friday night as trees were pulled down following a court go-ahead were released on bail. A special bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Ashok Bhushan was set up after a group of law students wrote to the Chief Justice requesting that the top court intervene to stop the cutting of trees immediately.