MUMBAI: Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray on Tuesday locked horns with the state government over the issue of Metro depot at Aarey land in the western suburb of Goregaon.
“We are not opposed to the Metro, but we are opposed to having the depot at Aarey,” the Thackeray scion said adding that he is opposed to the haphazard manner in which the administration is working in case of the car shed project.
“Even if a one single person is opposing the project the government should listen to them and think about why they are opposing the project,” Thackeray said and while targeting the MMRCL chief Ashwini Bhide, said that the government should appoint right kind of officials who will get the work done according to the wishes of the people and not thrust their own thoughts on people of the city.
While the Mumbai Matro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) had been pushing for making the Aarey land available for Metro depot, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) last week cleared a proposal for failing 2700 trees in Aarey to make way for it. The NGOs and local groups that have been opposing the proposal have already lost their case on several fore a like the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and at a public interaction on Monday, Bhide stated that the ambitious and prestigious underground Metro project won’t be possible if the Aarey land is not made available for the depot.
On this backdrop, Thackeray made it clear that he was voicing the concerns of the people.
“Though we are meeting at office of a political party, this not about politics, but about the city, the environment, the ecosystem, the animals and the people,” he said while addressing a press conference at Shiv Sena headquarters Sena Bhavan at Dadar. A few biodiversity experts too accompanied him as he made a presentation about the Aarey land.
“Are the officers threatening the court and the people of Mumbai when they say that the project will be stalled if they don’t get the land,” Thackeray asked.
He also demanded that Aarey should be declared as a forest.
“Current the whole debate is concentrated on technical aspects and nobody paying heed to facts,” Thackeray said and dared the administration to “touch the Aarey land”.
He even said that the persistence for the land makes one suspect of a scam behind it.
BMC chief Pravin Pardeshi had earlier made it clear that the Matro project has very low carbon footprint and the loss due to failing of 2700 trees would be recovered within a year of Metro operations as the efficiency of the new transport system will push several vehicles off road.