Aarey Forest Row: Two Protesters Detained, Police Deployment Increased

The two detained – Tabrez Sayyed and Jayesh Bhise – were served CrPC notices on Sunday, 24 July.

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Edited By :Tejas Harad

The Mumbai police on Monday, 25 July, detained two protesters in the city's Aarey colony and ramped up deployment in the area, an official said.

The two detained – Tabrez Sayyed and Jayesh Bhise – were served notices under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on 24 July, prohibiting them from assembling unlawfully to protest against the construction of the widely contested metro car shed in the area.

The police added that barricades have been put up and roads had either been closed or diverted.

"Traffic restrictions on Aarey road due to work by MMRC (Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation and MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai). Vehicular movement has been restricted on Aarey road for 1 day, from this morning till the evening, owing to some development work," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 12) Somnath Garge told news agency ANI.

Further, outsiders entering the area are being intercepted, news agency PTI reported.

Meanwhile, a video of cutting and felling of trees in Aarey is being circulated by demonstrators on social media. Activists say that cutting of trees at Picnic Point in Aarey Colony has already started, which is in violation of Supreme Court orders staying all cutting of trees in Aarey Colony, claimed a Times of India journalist.


Police has reportedly blocked all access to the Aarey Colony as well. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking has diverted a few buses plying on the route due to felling of trees, an official told PTI.

The controversy dates back to 2014, when then Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan laid out a proposal to build a servicing facility for metro coaches for the 33.5 km underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro project in Aarey. The plan involved cutting down thousands of trees in the area.

Bharatiya Janata Party's Devendra Fadnavis, who took over as the new CM, later that year, decided to continue with his predecessor's plan.

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL), a joint venture between the Government of India and Maharashtra government, is currently in charge of carrying out the project.

What's Happening Now?

Following months of protests from local communities and environmentalists, the then CM Uddhav Thackeray in October 2020 had announced that the controversial metro car shed is being shifted from Aarey Colony to Kanjurmarg, where “the land will be available at zero rate.”

The building that had already been constructed at Aarey, at a cost of Rs 100 crore, will be used for some other purpose, he had added.

Fadnavis had criticised the decision, saying it would lead to an escalation of costs and delays in the project. He had maintained that the metro project would help mitigate the carbon footprint and would ultimately benefit the environment.

Under the preceding Fadnavis government, the MMRC had announced its plan to cut down over 2,700 trees from the green colony in order to build a car shed for the metro.

After the Eknath Shinde-led government came to power, it overturned the decision of the Thackeray government regarding the car shed on 30 June and ordered the construction of metro 3 in the Aarey Milk Colony.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)

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