Mumbai: Aarey forest gets new lease of life after Metro car shed shifted to new location
Maharashtra CM Uddhav ThackerayImage source: IANS

Mumbai: Aarey forest gets new lease of life after Metro car shed shifted to new location

The proposed new car shed for Mumbai Metro will be shifted to Kanjurmarg in order to save the forests of Aarey

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray while addressing the state on Sunday declared that the proposed new car shed for Mumbai Metro will be shifted to Kanjurmarg in order to save the forests of Aarey Colony, Goregaon.

Thackeray said, " Adding no extra financial burden on the exchequer, the government has decided to build the car shed at Kanjurmarg on government land. The cost of around Rs 100 crore which is already spent on a building at Aarey Colony will not go in vain as it will be used for a proper use.” He also stated said that more 200 acres of land will be reserved as forest in the Aarey Colony, besides the 600 acres announced last month, both associated to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), Borivali.

Not only this, Thackeray also directed the withdrawal of all police cases filed against Aarey protesters - a move that was announced in December 2019. The cases are being filed against those who tried to stop authorities from cutting down trees.

Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who campaigned to save the trees, earlier had said the protesters had fought for the future of the Earth and that the rights of Adivasi communities that call Aarey home would be protected. On Sunday, after the reserve forest announcement was made, Aaditya tweeted, "Aarey saved!".

However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the decision, arguing that it will cost an additional Rs 4,000 crore and delay the project. “Unfortunate decision to shift metro car shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg and that too just to satisfy the ego. This decision will increase the cost of the project by at least Rs 4,000 crore and this cost escalation is assessed by the committee appointed by this Government,” opposition leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis tweeted.

Spread over 106 square kms, the SGNP, of which Aarey Colony is a buffer zone, has the difference of being the only national park in the world situated within a metropolitan city with a population of two crore.

(With inputs from IANS)

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