- Municipal authorities in Mumbai have started cutting trees in Aarey
- At least 29 activists have been arrested since Friday night
- They tried to stop authorities from cutting the trees at Aarey Colony
The municipal authorities in Mumbai have started cutting trees in Aarey Colony, where activists have been protesting against the move to raze the place to make way for a car shed of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation.
As the trees were cut one by one and the bulldozers made their way deep inside Aarey, which has some five lakh trees, a video has emerged of a tree falling on a car this morning.
In a mobile video shot by an eyewitness, a heavy tree falls on top of a fence and on to the road where a white Hyundai Accent is parked. There is no one inside the car. The tree bends the roof of the car slightly, but it is mostly intact.
People run for safety to the other side of the road as the tree starts falling.
At least 29 activists have been arrested since Friday night after they tried to stop the authorities from cutting the trees at Aarey Colony.
Any gathering of four or more people is banned now, the Mumbai Police said this morning.
The Bombay High Court on Friday cancelled four petitions challenging cutting of trees at Aarey Colony for the metro car shed. The process to raze the trees began hours later.
The activists gathered at Aarey Colony after a video showing a tree being cut was widely circulated on social media. They alleged the trees were being cut illegally.
According to the rules of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), trees can be cut 15 days after posting the court order to do so on its website, sources said. However, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation chief said the 15-day period has already lapsed.
"A new false propaganda is in the air that 15 days' notice is required after tree authority order getting uploaded on website. This is absolutely baseless. Tree Authority order is issued on 13th Sept 19. 15 days r over on 28th Sept. Action awaited till Hon HC verdict was out," said Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.