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No need to fell trees for Aarey metro car shed: Fadnavis

He also claimed that BJP is trying to leave the Kanjurmarg plot, where the previous MVA government had planned to build the car shed, to make some builders happy.

Devendra Fadnavis, Aarey Colony, Aarey metro car shed, felling trees, Mumbai news, Mumbai city news, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Maharashtra government, India news, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsMaharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. (File)

Refuting allegations that trees would be felled at Aarey Colony in Mumbai for the Metro 3 car shed project, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said that there is no need to fell trees at the construction site.

Speaking in the Legislative Council, Fadnavis said, “There is no need to fell trees now and a false narrative is being spread by a few. There is no ego issue. We are in fact thinking of a better future for Mumbai.” He added that phase 1 of the Metro 3 corridor would start operation by next year and by 2024, the whole corridor would be functional.

He was responding to claims by Shiv Sena and Congress that the BJP is making the car shed an ego issue and more trees would be felled for the project at Aarey forest. Speaking in the Council, Congress MLC Bhai Jagtap alleged, “They are now saying that the trees won’t be felled at Aarey but they would be felled. They are trying to destroy Mumbai for their ego.”

Fadnavis said he is willing to apologise to people of Mumbai if they think that he cut trees at Aarey colony during night time in 2019 and they are upset over it.

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“It’s true that we cut tree during night time. Uddhav ji was also got upset due to that. I spoke to him and the work was then started at the Aatey for carshed after his nod only,”Fadnavis said.

He also claimed that BJP is trying to leave the Kanjurmarg plot, where the previous MVA government had planned to build the car shed, to make some builders happy. “The Kanjurmarg plot is 1,008 acre, owned by the state and Union governments. They (BJP) want to give the land to builders and hence, do not want a car shed there.” In its first Cabinet meeting after coming to power, the Eknath Shinde government had overturned the decision of MVA government to move the Metro 3 car shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg.

Replying to the allegations, Fadnavis said that the Aarey plot had received in-principle approval during the time of Congress’ Prithviraj Chavan-led government. “We have only taken this forward and that too after receiving a report from a committee formed to look into the feasibility of the Kanjurmarg site,” he added.

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“Kanjurmarg land was also considered before finalising the Aarey site… a committee was formed, which said in its report that the Kanjurmarg option is not feasible.”

Fadnavis further said, “’I had then approached the high court to claim the Kanjurmarg plot… The HC sought a deposit of Rs 3,000 crore. The plea was to be heard after that and the HC would have then taken a decision on who owns the land. It was then that I realised that this whole process will not be completed before three to five years.”

“The committee report had stated that the Kanjurmarg soil is marshy. It will take two years for the soil to stabilise and then only we can start work… so the Aarey plot was finalised.” Fadnavis also hit out at environmentalists who are opposing the car shed at Aarey. “There are a few activists who have nothing to do with Mumbai… it needs to be checked from where they are getting donations.”

First published on: 26-08-2022 at 02:27:20 am
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