The Bombay High Court today came down heavily on activists opposing the tree cutting for setting up of the Colaba-Seepz Metro-III line and said a pragmatic view must be taken considering ground realities. A division bench of justices V M Kanade and A M Badar was hearing an application by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) seeking permission to cut 108 mangroves for the suburban Bandra Kurla Complex metro station. The permission was required as the high court had earlier while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG) had mandated taking its nod for anything regarding mangroves. “We need the Metro…traffic in the city is going from bad to worse…a pragmatic view has to be taken considering the ground realities,” Justice Kanade said. The bench was today informed by MMRCL’s advocate Kiran Bagalia that the MMRCL has earlier undertaken to restore the green cover removed for construction of stations.
“We will be replanting and will even do compensatory mangrove replantation,” she said. Bagalia also informed that a loan has been taken from Japan and added that delay in work has huge cost repercussions. Advocate Robin Jaisinghani, who had appeared for a petitioner in the earlier PIL, said no underground construction can be carried out in the area falling under CRZ-III, wherein the proposed BKC station will come up.
The court however said there is no need for activists and residents to take an adversarial stand and that they must consider the situation in Mumbai. The judges posted the hearing on June 24 after BEAG’s advocate sought time to respond to MMRCL’s application.