The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade’s decision to write to Maharashtra’s chief secretary, asking the state to stop construction of the proposed Metro car shed in Kanjurmarg, has set off a political slugfest. The coalition partners of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government have accused the Centre of trampling on federal rights.
Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray claimed the Kanjurmarg land always belonged to the Maharashtra government and the MMRDA will continue its work on the land as decided earlier.
“The Kanjurmarg land allotted by the Collector to MMRDA for Car depot of Metro has always been with Govt of Maharashtra as per revenue records. The Collector, Mumbai Suburban has done due diligence of all land records and all sub-judice matters in all competent courts,” Aaditya said in a tweet. “The MMRDA will therefore carry on with its work for Metro joint Car Depots at Kanjurmarg as earlier decided,” he added.
“The land belongs to the state government and it has rights on it. The Centre by its deeds seems to be working in eroding the rights of states under cooperative federalism,” NCP MP Supriya Sule said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, last month, had announced the scrapping of the Aarey Metro car shed. He said the project will now be shifted to a government land in Kanjurmarg and no cost will be incurred for the purpose.
NCP’s national spokesperson and Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik said the saltpan land concerned belongs to the state and the project will take shape on that site only. “Initially, the BJP said it is private land. Now, the Centre is saying (in the letter) that the saltpan land belongs to it,” Malik said. He added that the BJP was laying roadblocks in Metro works that would benefit lakhs of Mumbai’s residents.
Malik said as per his information, the Centre had in 2002 transferred several saltpan lands to the state government. “It is state government’s land. The previous government had affirmed it. The car shed will come up there only,” the minister said.
The Shiv Sena also took on the BJP and said when it was in power the party had claimed the land belonged to the state.
“When Devendra Fadnavis was the CM an affidavit was submitted to court, in which it was said the said land belonged to the state. Now that the government has changed, how can the BJP say the ownership of that land has changed,” Mumbai’s mayor and Shiv Sena leader Kishori Pednekar said.
The BJP, meanwhile, said the state government’s decision to shift the Metro car shed on saltpan land at Kanjurmarg was hasty and overlooked practical and technical aspects. “The question is how did the state government suo motu announce the Metro car shed on saltpan land at Kanjurmarg without the Centre’s nod. Was there a larger design behind this decision of the Thackeray government?” asked BJP leader Ashish Shelar.
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