Shocked That All Cases Were Dismissed by HC, Say Aarey Activists

Not satisfied with the HC order, environmentalist tell us why Aarey Colony needs to be saved.

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“Things looked like they were going positive but it came really as a big shock for all of us that all the cases were dismissed.”
Sushant, Activist

Like Sushant, many petitioners and activists are dejected with the order passed by the Bombay High Court on Aarey Colony.

After almost five years of environmentalists fighting to save the lush greens of Aarey in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court on Friday, 4 October, refused to declare the colony a forest area and also declined to quash a BMC decision allowing felling of over 2,600 trees in the suburban green zone for a metro car shed.

A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and environment activists related to Aarey Colony in Goregaon, Mumbai.

“The issue is pending before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal. Hence, we are dismissing the petition on the principle of commonality and not on merits,” the court said.

Not satisfied with the high court order, activists tell The Quint why Aarey Colony needs to be saved.

‘We Are Not Anti-Metro’

Ruhie Kumar is a climate change communicator, with 7 years of experience in climate and energy campaigns.

Ruhie says that the activists are not against the metro, but they wish for a more sustainable solution where Mumbaikars don’t end up loosing the ‘green lungs’ of their city.

“We are not anti-metro, all we are saying is you can move the location of the car shed and still be thankful for the lush greenery that Aarey provides.”
Ruhie Kumar, Climate Change Communicator

Debi Goenka, an avid environmentalist, says that Aarey should have been declared as a forest in the year 1997.

“Aarey Milk Colony should have been identified as a forest and if that had been done by the government in ‘97, this present controversy wouldn’t have erupted.”
Debi Goenka, Executive Trustee of Conservation Action Trust

Activist Sushant tells The Quint that as asked by the High Court they will approach the Supreme Court.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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