Opposing the plan for the second international airport at Navi Mumbai, Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that if the government was not going to consider the opinion of its own environment ministry, they should send its minister, Jairam Ramesh, back home.
Highlighting the differences in the UPA government on issue of the airport, Thackeray said if the opinion of the environment ministry had no value, “shut it down and give the land and the money to Aviation Minister Praful Patel”.
Thackeray said he was commenting after Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh opposed the airport site for potential environment hurdles and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said the new airport will only come up at Navi Mumbai.
“The course of two rivers would have to be changed and mangroves hacked. Coming generations of Mumbai and surrounding population, not Patel, will have to pay for it,” he said, suggesting they could search for other sites with minimal environmental loss.
He said he was also opposed to the Lavasa city project coming up near Pune on environment grounds.
Thackeray said the state government had plans to strip the municipal corporation of its powers and introduce a bill in the legislature that would take away the corporation’s authority on managing water, solid waste and transport facilities in the city. “Is this not a plan of making the city separate from the state?” he asked.