Thousands of 'mangrove' trees to be cut for Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, court approves
The court has taken an important decision for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. In Maharashtra, whenever any authority considers it necessary to cut mangrove trees for any public project, it has to take permission from the court.
The Bombay High Court on Friday allowed the National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) to cut around 20,000 mangrove trees in Mumbai, Palghar and Thane for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja allowed NHSRCL's plea seeking the felling of mangrove trees. Under a 2018 order of the Bombay High Court, the felling of mangrove trees (trees and shrubs growing in marshy land) is completely banned across the state.
Whenever any authority in Maharashtra considers it necessary to cut mangrove trees for any public project, it has to take permission from the High Court every time. According to the court's order, a 'buffer zone' of about 50 meters should be created around the area where there are mangrove trees, in which no construction activity or demolition of debris should be allowed. In a petition filed in the year 2020, the NHSRCL had assured the court that it would plant 5 times the number of mangrove trees it had earlier planned to cut.
Explain that despite NHSRCL's assurance, an NGO named 'Bombay Environmental Action Group' opposed its petition saying that no study has been done about the survival rate of newly planted saplings and that It is also not known what effect the cutting of trees will have on the environment. The NHSRCL, while rejecting the objections raised by the NGO, had claimed that it had obtained the necessary approval for the felling of trees for the project and that the damage caused would be compensated by planting saplings.
The proposed 508 km long high-speed rail corridor between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is expected to reduce the travel time between the two cities from 6.5 hours to 2.5 hours. It is being said that due to this reduction in travel time, the speed of development of the entire area can be accelerated and at the same time people can also get a lot of conveniences.