Mumbai3 months ago
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project bullet train has been cleared on Friday. The Bombay High Court has given conditional permission to cut 21,997 mangrove trees for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. The court said, five times more trees should be planted to compensate for this damage to the environment. The trees that have been allowed to be felled by the court are in Thane and Palghar districts. National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), the maker of bullet train tracks, had filed a public interest litigation in the High Court to cut down these trees. A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Abhay Ahuja was hearing the case.
The court said that the number of trees should be reduced
The court said the company has to comply with the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority’s conditions along with the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change while felling mangrove trees. Earlier, the court directed the NHSRCL to reduce the number of mangroves felled. In this regard, counsel appearing for NHSRCL told the court that earlier over 53 thousand trees were supposed to be felled, now their number has come down to 21,997.
With the arrival of the bullet train, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad journey will be reduced from 6:30 hours to 2:30 hours.
An NGO called the Bombay Environmental Action Group opposed NHSRCL’s application. He told the court that no court study has been done on the survival of the trees to be planted. At the same time, the evaluation report of the impact on the environment due to the cutting of mangrove trees was not given to the court.
The Supreme Court banned the cutting of mangrove trees
In a 2018 order, the Supreme Court banned the cutting of mangrove trees in Maharashtra. However, the court also said that if these trees are cut in the public interest, the permission of the court must be taken. Subsequently, in 2020, NHSRCL filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Bombay High Court seeking permission to cut these trees. He also said that five times more trees will be planted than the number of trees that will be cut.
Learn about the Bullet Train Project
The country’s first bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be 508.17 km long. It will have 21 km of underground lines. The bullet train track will pass through Mumbai, Thane and Palghar in Maharashtra and pass through Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Kheda and Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The bullet train running over it will run at a speed of 320 km per hour. With the arrival of the bullet train, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad journey will be reduced from 6:30 hours to 2:30 hours.
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