The Bombay High Court on Friday paved way for felling of over 20,000 mangrove trees in the Mumbai suburban region and districts of Palghar and Thane of Maharashtra to enable the construction of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor known as the Bullet train project..A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja clarified in the order pronounced today that while carrying out the felling, the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) will have to comply with the terms and conditions set out in the approvals granted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) and the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA)..The NHSRCL had approached the High Court seeking permission to fell mangrove trees after a 2018 order by a co-ordinate bench had put a total freeze on felling of mangrove trees.The order had, however, said that in the event such felling was required for a public interest project, parties could approach the High Court for the necessary permission.Hence, the present plea was filed for such permission. .Advocates Pralhad Paranjape, appearing for the NHRSCL, told the Court that the number of mangrove trees to be felled, have been reduced from over 50,000 to approximately 22,000. He assured that NHSRCL would plant five times the total number trees proposed to be felled. Paranjape contended that the MCZMA and MOEFCC suggested two platforms located near the mangroves be shifted a little away so that the lesser number mangrove trees are affected.This was accepted by NHSRCL and the total number of affected trees came down from 53,467 to approximately 22,000. NHSRCL also claimed to have received all requisite sanctions and approvals from statutory authorities to go ahead with the project in the event the High Court permits felling of trees..The High Court had in an earlier order directed that the Bombay Environmental Action Group, an NGO, be added as a respondent for their inputs on the petition, The NGO not only objected to the felling of trees, but it also prayed that no relaxation be granted for using explosives in the prohibited areas during construction activities in the project. The NGO also pointed out that no Environmental Impact Assessment had been conducted to assess the impact of the felling. .After hearing the plea at length, the Court allowed the petition subject to conditions.