The Centre on Saturday responded to the felling of trees in Aarey in Mumbai by Metro authorities and the protests that followed. Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change Prakash Javadekar during a media briefing addressed the issue. He said that the Bombay High Court in its ruling had said that Aarey was not a forest. It also said that even Delhi Metro — which he said was the best in the world, even in the eyes of Americans visiting India — was 'developed' after felling a few trees. He added that Delhi's green cover expanded as authorities planted five trees in place of one tree which was felled.
"Basically Bombay High Court has decided and ruled yesterday that it is not a forest. you can't fell anything that is a forest. Let me give you an example. If there is the best metro anywhere in the world, it is in Delhi. Even people from America are happy with it. But how was the Delhi Metro developed? We had to cut 20-25 trees. People had protested then too. But we planted five trees for cutting one tree. Today, they all have developed into fully grown trees. Even the tree cover of Delhi increased as well as 271 stations were created. This is the mantra — development, and environment, both go together," he said.
Section 144 was imposed at the site of the metro car shed project site. Informing about the move, Mumbai police PRO said that prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in the area near the proposed site for the Metro car shed in Aarey. Mumbai Police has blocked the entry from Marol Maroshi Road. Sources from the location also said that despite prohibitory orders, protestors refused to move from the place following which the police resorted to lathi-charge.
Following the protests at Aarey Colony over the felling of trees, Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi has been detained by Mumbai police near the site of Aarey Colony. In the visuals above, it can be seen that the Shiv Sena leader was arguing with the police who tried to whisk her away as she spoke to the media. Chaturvedi also tweeted saying she was forcibly evicted by the cops as she tried to enter the vicinity of the site. She said that the Mumbai Police had blocked all entries to Aarey. She added that the Mumbai Police did not inform her where she was being taken. Chaturvedi was later released near Samta Nagar Police station.