MUMBAI: Erstwhile Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis endures big set back as Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced the scrapping of Aarey metro car shed.
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday in his state address, announced that the car shed for Metro 3 will be made in Kanjurmarg instead of Aarey Colony.
Thackeray said that the government had earlier declared 600 acres of Aarey land as forest but now it has been increased upto 800 acres. "We have also decided to withdraw the police cases against people who had protested trees at Aarey against the hacking of trees in last year. The cabinet has approved this decision," Thackeray said.
In September, Thackeray had asked the MMRC and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to prepare a detailed project report for an alternative site. The two places identified were Kanjurmarg, where the government has a 41-hectare saltpan land earmarked for the Metro 6 car shed, and the other was at Pahadi, Goregaon (West), where MMRDA has 89 hectares for a car shed.
On October 4, 2019, hundreds of trees were axed in the Aarey Colony under the former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for the construction of a Metro railway car shed. Many people protested against environment minister Aaditya Thackeray for hacking the trees at Aarey colony. During this protest, police had booked 38 students and activists and arrested 29 of them, including six women.
Thackeray said that the land will be available at a zero rate. "The building which has already come up in the Aarey forest will be utilised for some other public purpose. About Rs 100 crore expenditure was incurred for the purpose and it won't go waste. Biodiversity in Aarey needs to be conserved and protected. This will be one the biggest forest in urban localities," he added.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said that this is very unfortunate that Thackeray government canceled earlier government decision just for his son. "There are some people could have opposed the car shed at Aarey but has not opposed it..despite spending huge amount of money and government resources, Thackeray govt cancelled the decision. It will set wrong precedent," BJP leader said.