LESS THAN ten days after an assurance from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that the Kalina land would be considered as an alternative to Aarey for Metro 3 car shed, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) officials in a meeting with environmentalists shot down the proposal. However, officials have suggested a new design for the car shed that will be built in a smaller area and which will help save some trees.
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“The environmentalists are insistent that the proposed depot at Aarey be shifted to a Mumbai University land in Kalina. But it is not an option. The land has been studied by experts twice and they have said that the land is not suitable due to the area that was available there. Also Mumbai University has its own plans for the land. It is understandable that the Save Aarey group opposes construction in Aarey but they should also be mindful of the students,” said SK Gupta, Director, Projects, MMRC.
The new car shed will be built on 25 hectares land compared to the earlier planned 33 hectares.”Meanwhile we have decided to redesign our depot in such a way that we leave out the area where there is large concentration of trees. There will be some difficulties for us but our focus will be to save trees,” he said.
During the meeting the officials also clarified that there is no commercial development planned in the area for the car shed.
“They are two different entities. No commercial development will be conducted in the car shed area,” said Gupta.
Unhappy at these developments, the environmentalists have now decided to approach the chief minister again. “We will go back to the chief minister and tell him that his directives have been ignored. The CM spoke of a 20-hectare car shed, then how can MMRC talk of 25-hectares?” said Stalin Dayanand, Director, NGO Vanashakti.