Facing flak from green activists for felling trees in part of Aarey colony for a metro car shed, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation on Sunday posted a video claiming it had planted 24,000 trees across the city even as its managing director Ashwini Bhide justified the "inevitable destruction", saying it paves the way for "new creation".
Bhide has re-tweeted a video released by the official handle of @MumbaiMetro3 claiming plantation of 24,000 trees across Mumbai.
"Promises kept Commitments delivered. #MMRC has planted arnd 24,000 trees across Mumbai including #AareyMilkColony and degraded areas of #SGNP. Sturdy native species like Behada, Kadamb, Karanj etc 6- 12 inch girth & 12 -15 ft height planted. 2 years efforts and results show up," reads the tweet posted on @MumbaiMetro3.
MumbaiMetro3 is the official handle of MMRCL which is executing Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ line.
Chopping of trees started on Friday night, hours after the Bombay high court dismissed petitions challenging Tree Authority's decision to axe trees in Aarey to make way for the rake depot.
The MMRCL, the nodal agency for the proposed Colaba- Bandra-Seepz metro, has defended felling of trees contending that the area of action was small. It has been contending that felling of trees is necessary to ensure a modern transport system for Mumbaikars.
Hours after @MumbaiMetro3 tweet on planting of 24,000 trees, Bhide tweeted on her official twitter handle: "Sometimes to construct something new destruction becomes inevitable but it also paves the way for new life and new creation."
According to MMRCL, some of the 24,000 trees planted by them are in degraded areas of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai to revive its greenery.
"On top of it. Some trees have also been planted inside the Aarey Milk Colony where BMC recently axed around 2,700 trees to build a Metro-3 carshed," it said.
The MMRCL said these 24,000 geo-tagged trees comprised indigenous species like Behada, Kadamb and Karanj which will achieve a girth of 6 to 12 inches and a height of 12 to 15 feet.
"We at #MMRC plant trees & build @MumbaiMetro3 also. We do need 2 cut trees at times 2 build better #infrastructure 2 suit city's present & future needs. But we can mitigate it by planting more trees. #MMRC has planted 24000 trees, geotagged them & wel maintained @CMOMaharashtra," the MMRCL MD twitted and tagged Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The MMRCL's action to chop trees has met up with stiff resistance from sections of citizens and activists who accused the corporation of "massacring" the Aarey "forest".