Bollywood celebs express anger over tree cutting in Aarey

Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation officials chopped down several trees on Friday, hours after the Bombay high court dismissed all the petitions related to 'Save Aarey'. Photo: PTI.

Several Bollywood actors, including Farhan Akhtar, Dia Mirza, Alia Bhatt and Swara Bhasker, on Saturday (October 5) condemned the felling of trees in Aarey Colony, being carried out to make way for a Metro car shed.

Hours after the Bombay High Court on Friday (October 4) dismissed four petitions by NGOs against the felling of over 2,600 trees, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) swung into action and started hacking trees for the project.

“Cutting trees at night is a pathetic attempt at trying to get away with something even those doing it know is wrong,” Akhtar said in a tweet.

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In a series of tweets, Mirza said that this “massacre” needs to be stopped. “400 trees have been cut in the dead of the night. As citizens sang and joined hands in unity pleading to STOP this massacre. Can’t you see they are UNITED by love!?! Love for nature. Love for our children and our future,” she said.

In another tweet, the actor said that there is supposed to be a 15-day waiting period after the permission is granted and notice has been uploaded on the official website. “But there is no waiting here. Our trees are being cut as citizens desperately plead to STOP this!.”

Sharing a video of the felling of trees on Twitter, actor Richa Chadda wrote, “If you’re a parent and not seriously angered about this shady tree felling in the night, lemme know how you feel about looking your kids in their eyes.”

In another tweet, Chadda expressed her anger saying, “All this for a carshed – which is basically like a parking lot for the Metro. Stealing oxygen from the lungs of citizens. And its begun! #AareyForest #AareyColony being destroyed,” Swara said.

Also read | Section 144 imposed in Aarey colony; 29 held, opposition cries foul

Actor Urmila Matondkar, who had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election as a Congress candidate from Mumbai North before quitting the party last month, said what
was happening at Aarey was “truly incomprehensible”.

“1. Mumbai high court saying Aarey is not a forest. 2. So much urgency and diligence in carrying out a court order. 3. Those responsible cant get away with a mere tweet of fake anguish,” she said.

Actor Pooja Bhatt said that in a “fair, ethical, just and humane world it should be the other way around. The state should be protecting the trees from the men with machetes who arrive cloaked in darkness. Alas, this is the world we live in. One without a moral compass & conscience. God help us all!” she tweeted.

Actor Alia Bhatt also extended her support against felling of trees and said that “we need to protect nature like life depends on it. Because it does.”

In a tweet, filmmaker Onir said, “In the cover of darkness the axe falls on our trees. RIP Aarey forest. We failed you. My heart breaks to know that by morning many proud erect trees will have fallen to human greed.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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