Maharashtra’s Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde said on Wednesday that the state government’s decision to scrap the Aarey car shed project and relocate it to Kanjurmarg was in larger public good. Alleging that the BJP was indulging in politics at the cost of larger public interest, the senior Shiv Sena minister termed the Centre’s stance over the ownership of the Kanjurmarg land as “unfortunate”.
“An integrated car shed for four Metro lines at Kanjurmarg was proposed. More than a crore people would have benefited from it. It has already been proven that the land vests with the state. All documents also point to that but unfortunately, the Centre filed a petition in the court. It ought to have taken a more accommodative stance,” said Shinde, while interacting with media persons over the issue.
In October, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had scrapped his predecessor, Devendra Fadnavis’ project of building the car shed for the 33.5 km underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz line at Aarey. Relocating it to Kanjurmarg, the state government had further announced a plan to build an integrated car shed for four Metro lines on the 102-acre land at Kanjurmarg.
But on December 17, the Bombay High Court, while admitting the central Salt department’s plea that the land in question belonged to it, had stayed the construction of the car shed at the Kanjurmarg site.
Shinde said that the Opposition (the BJP) should not resort to politics over the issue. Firing a salvo at the previous Fadnavis regime, he questioned that if the same land could be considered for a housing project, why should there be an opposition to a Metro car shed project at the site.
He was referring to the previous government’s move on June 11, 2019, of setting up a committee of bureaucrats to examine a private developer’s project of building one lakh affordable houses on the same land. Anticipating a protracted legal battle, Shinde said that the state government was examining the feasibility of alternative locations to build a car shed.
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