"In Cover Of The Night, Shame": Aaditya Thackeray On Aarey Tree-Cutting

In a series of tweets, Aaditya Thackeray termed cutting of trees as a "shameful and disgusting" act and suggested that Mumbai Metro officials be "sent to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir" to destroy terror camps instead of trees in Mumbai.

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Aaditya Thackeray said metro project should have been executed with pride and not undercover. (File)


Mumbai: 

Highlights

  1. Aaditya Thackeray has extended his support to protesters.
  2. Mr Thackeray slammed police for criminal-like treatment with activist.
  3. Bombay High Court had refused to stall cutting of trees on Friday.

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday extended his support to activists opposing the cutting of trees at Mumbai's Aarey Colony area where Metro Rail authorities are planning to build a car shed for its trains.

In a series of tweets, Mr Thackeray termed cutting of trees as a "shameful and disgusting" act which was carried out "in cover of night". 

"The vigour with which the Mumbai Metro is slyly and swiftly cutting down an ecosystem in Aarey is shameful and disgusting. How about posting these officials in PoK, giving them charge to destroy terror camps rather than trees?" Mr Thackeray said.

"Many environmentalists and even many local Shiv Sena members from the vicinity have tried stopping this. More so the increased police presence and the way this deforestation is happening, Mumbai Metro is destroying everything India said at the UN," he added.

The Shiva Sena leader, who is set to make his political debut in the upcoming assembly polls in Maharashtra, termed cutting of trees as an "ego battle".

Mr Thackeray, whose party is an ally in Maharashtra and Central Government, asked who was authorising use of force at the site.

"The use of a large number of police personnel. Hacking trees in the dead of the night, even after winning in court (then why not broad day light) and detention of peaceful protesters and citizens. Who is authorising this? During Code of Conduct? All these powers handed to MMRC?" Mr Thackeray said. 
 

"There's no point for the Central government ministry of climate change to exist, or to speak about plastic pollution when the Mumbai Metro senselessly destroys the Aarey vicinity. This ego battle taken up by Metro 3 is destroying the purpose of making it," he said.

Mr Thackeray further slammed Mumbai Metro officials for meeting out "criminal-like" treatment to Mumbai citizens.    

"The Shiv Sena's Sheetal Mahatre Ji & Shubha Raul ji at Aarey. Even Sunnel Prabhu ji has been standing up for it with the citizens. Wonder why Mumbai Metro is treating Mumbaikars like criminals and not listening to sensible demand of sustainable development," he said.

He said that the Metro project should have been executed with pride and not undercover at night.

"A project that should be executed with pride, the Metro 3, @MumbaiMetro3 has to do it in the cover of the night, with shame, slyness and heavy cop cover. The project supposed to get Mumbai clean air, is hacking down a forest with a leopard, rusty spotted cat and more," Mr Thackeray said. 

For the last two years, environmentalists have been protesting the decision of constructing a car shed at Aarey Colony, which has more than five lakh trees.

Activists had approached the Bombay High Court to stall the government's car shed plan. The court, however, refused to intervene, saying the matter is pending before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal.

"The greens (environmentalists) fail in the instant petition because they have lost touch with the procedure to be followed as per law. The clock cannot be put back. We do not make any comments thereon as the petitioner has to now swim or sink before the Supreme Court... 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," a bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre said on Friday. 



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