Construction of the 32.32-km long Wadala-Ghatkoper-Thane-Kasarvadavali Metro line will lead to cutting or shifting of 3,136 trees that lie in the path of the corridor. Of the Metro 4 corridor, 11.5 km is under the limits of the Thane Municipal Corporation and 21 km is in Mumbai.
In reply to an RTI, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the nodal agency for the project, has said a total of 4,388 trees are on the metro stretch. In reply to a query on how many of these trees would be affected, the MMRDA has said 871 trees would have to be cut, 2,265 will be shifted and 1,252 trees will remain unaffected.
A senior officer from MMRDA said trees that are under the jurisdiction of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) will be replanted in Thane itself. The officer said the MMRDA was in talks with TMC officials to find a suitable place for replanting the trees.
Environmentalist have, however, raised issues with the treatment being meted out to the flora of the city. They claimed that the state, in the name of Infrastructure and development, is creating a concrete jungle. They also questioned the replantation technique and said the previous trees that were replanted by the MMRCL in Aarey Colony are all dead now. “Their is nothing like shifting trees and replanting. Earlier, thousands of trees were shifted but all of them are dead now,” Stalin D, the director, Vanashakti said.
He claimed that the state does not have the knowhow or technology needed to shift tress and in the end, the entire process will lead to 3,000 tress dying in the city.
The construction of the metro line was divided into five packages and awarded through the engineering, procurement and construction model in April 2018. A joint venture between Reliance Infrastructure and Italian firm Astaldi S P A was awarded three packages between Kasarwadavali and Wadala worth Rs 1,584 crore. The contract for the remaining two packages, together worth Rs 1,048 crore was awarded to a joint venture between Tata Projects Limited and China Harbour Engineering Company.