Thursday, May 23, 2019 | Last Update : 02:03 AM IST

BMC: Bombay HC refuses to vacate stay on tree authority

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 16, 2019, 1:38 am IST
Updated : May 16, 2019, 4:54 am IST

The court however did not restrain the BMC from cutting trees in the Aarey area for the proposed metro car shed and allied work.

Representational Image
 Representational Image

Mumbai: The vacation bench of the Bombay high court Wednesday refused to allow the Brihanmumbai Minicipal Corporation (BMC)’s application, seeking to vacate the stay on the working of the civic body’s tree authority which has the power to approve felling of trees for development projects or repairs and up-gradation work.

The court however did not restrain the BMC from cutting trees in the Aarey area for the proposed metro car shed and allied work.

The vacation bench of Justice A.S. Gadkari and Justice N.J. Jamdar passed the order while hearing a plea filed by the BMC, Mumbai Metro Corporation Limited, and environmental activist Zoru Bathena, seeking various reliefs related to the tree authority.

On Wednesday, the BMC submitted that it had chosen four independent experts to be part of the tree authority. It, therefore, requested the court to permit the tree authority to start functioning.

The civic body said that it had several pending projects pertaining to felling of trees ahead of the monsoon, but they were getting delayed due to the stay imposed by the court in October last year.

On October 24, 2018, a regular bench of the high court had restrained the tree authority from taking any decision on applications for axing trees until it nominated independent experts as members. Until such time, the municipal commissioner would tackle emergent situations, the court had said.

However, the Brihanmumbai Minicipal Corporation’s arguments were opposed by Mr Bathena who claimed that the present tree authority had 15 councilors or corporators and just four expert members. He argued that the BMC must include an equal number of experts to ensure that permissions for razing trees were not granted indiscriminately.

Tags: bombay high court, bmc