The Maharashtra CM, on Sunday, said the new site would be at Kanjurmarg. He said, for acquiring this land, the cost is zero.
Recently, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray announced the scrapping of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro car shed construction in Aarey Milk Colony, Mumbai. The decision came days after cases against students and activists who had earlier protested the previous regime’s overnight felling of trees at Aarey, were withdrawn by the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government, according to an IE report. Aarey is known to be one of the last vestiges of green space remaining in the financial capital. Last year on November 29, Thackeray had stopped its construction work and ordered a review of the feasibility of relocating it somewhere else.
The Maharashtra CM, on Sunday, said the new site would be at Kanjurmarg. He said, for acquiring this land, the cost is zero. The minister further said that the state government will not let the money that has already been spent on the construction at Aarey go to waste. They will use the money for some other purpose, he added. In the month of January, the possibility of shifting the car shed elsewhere was explored by a four-member committee appointed by the CM. The committee had recommended that the shed remains in Mumbai’s Aarey, citing logistical hurdles, cost escalation, as well as the further delay in the commissioning of the 33.5 kilometre long underground Metro route. Besides, the committee had suggested that inside the colony, the green areas should be preserved like a protected forest.
Based on a recent report by DMRC that found technical merit in integrating the underground Metro corridor with another Metro corridor – the 14.5 kilometre long Jogeshwari-Lokhandwala-Vikhroli-Kanjurmarg metro line, as well as relocating the proposed car shed to state-owned land in Kanjurmarg, the CM has overruled these recommendations. According to Thackeray, biodiversity needs to be conserved and protected in Aarey.
Earlier, 600 acres of land in Aarey was declared as a reserve forest by Thackeray’s government. On Sunday, the Maharashtra CM said this had now been enhanced to 800 acres of land. Also, he further said that there will be no infringement on the rights of tribal people residing in the area.
The decision has been criticised by Fadnavis. On Twitter, the former CM said a cost escalation of at least Rs 4,000 crore has been estimated by Thackeray government’s own committee. He also stated that not only was the Kanjurmarg site under litigation, it was marshy land that will need at least a period of two years to stabilise. Also, for this site, no DPR or feasibility report has been made, he said.