In Mumbai: Maha CM says Metro-3 carshed in Aarey not a ‘prestige issue’ | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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In Mumbai: Maha CM says Metro-3 carshed in Aarey not a ‘prestige issue’

After political parties slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government over its plan to house a car depot for Metro-3 project inside Aarey Milk Colony, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that he has asked the project implementing authority to explore Kalina as an option...

mumbai Updated: Feb 20, 2017 00:01 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. (HT file )

After political parties slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government over its plan to house a car depot for Metro-3 project inside Aarey Milk Colony, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that he has asked the project implementing authority to explore Kalina as an option.

“We are open to other alternatives too. An option of a plot at Kalina was suggested and I have asked Ashwini Bhide [managing director, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd] to explore it as an alternative,” Fadnavis told a group of reporters on Sunday. The chief minister added that his government is not keen on building the carshed inside Aarey colony and have not made it a “prestige issue”.

According to officials, the plot at Kalina, which the MMRCL will now survey, measures 26.2 hectares and is located near the Mumbai University’s Kalina campus.

Aarey has become an election issue with a sustained ‘Save Aarey’ campaign by citizens. In the run up to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation polls, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has supported environmentalists and residents, who have opposed the car depot inside Aarey.

Last week, Shiv Sena youth wing leader and son of party chief Uddhav Thackeray, Aaditya Thackeray, appealed to Mumbaiites via tweet to vote in favour of those parties wanting to save Aarey colony from destruction. Earlier, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), along with citizen activists, urged citizens to vote for those in favour of protecting Aarey.

A couple of days ago, MNS chief Raj Thackeray attacked the BJP government for giving away huge tracts of land under the Mumbai Port Trust to private builders, while they chopped hundreds of trees at Aarey in the name of development. During a campaign speech, Raj said, “Why the government could not use Port Trust’s land for Metro carshed?”

Meanwhile, the chief minister said that he has already declined MMRCL’s demand of commercial exploitation of the proposed car depot at Aarey Colony. “There will be no commercial activity in Aarey. It was MMRCL’s demand and the government has not accepted it,” he said.

MMRC had sought floor space index (FSI) of 3 on the Aarey plot for “real estate development and raise around Rs 1,000 crore by commercially exploiting part of the land.

Also read: Citizens to be part of MMRCL team to monitor hacking of trees for Metro 3

Bombay HC will not withdraw restraint for tree cutting for Metro 3