Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday batted for the Metro 3 project for which the authorities have proposed a depot in Aarey Colony.
BJP’s Javadekar pointed out that the Metro would reduce vehicular pollution in Mumbai. Significantly, the Shiv Sena, is opposed to cutting trees for the Metro depot in Aarey Colony.
“There are many trees in the Aarey Colony but it is not a forest. So, I am not linked to the issue anyway. However, one must understand that even if 350 trees are cut in the colony, the Metro will provide relief from pollution in the long term,” Javadekar said in a press conference on Saturday.
He cited the example of Delhi to assert how cutting a few trees should not affect growth. “In Delhi, environmentalists had opposed cutting off a few trees for a station 13 years ago. Trees were transplanted four times and the Metro provided pollution-free transport service to 20 lakh commuters, which has helped in bringing down pollution and traffic congestion substantially,” he said.
He, however, pointed out that the issue did not come under his ministry’s jurisdiction. The 33.5-km Metro 3 project is planned as an underground corridor from Colaba to Seepz via Bandra. Nodal authority Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority said the project will provide a parallel transport system between south and north Mumbai. It will provide connectivity between business hubs of Nariman Point, BKC and Seepz as well as the airport.
Sena leader and state industries minister reiterated its opposition to the depot on Saturday. “It is not just Shiv Sena but everyone in the city is opposing the Metro depot in Aarey Colony. We want the depot to be out of the colony so we are going to hold discussions with the CM about it,” Desai said.
Interestingly, Sena minister Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation has taken up Thane-Borivli tunnel project, which can have a negative impact on wildlife in Sanjay Gandhi National Project and the groundwater table. The tunnel will go through the core area of the jungle while Aarey Colony is technically not a jungle.
Centre’s waste-disposal plan
Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar said on Saturday that the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) was preparing guidelines for the disposal of different types of waste generated in urban localities.
“We are working on a plan to address waste-disposal issue. There will be separate guidelines to deal with different kinds of waste like wet waste, dry waste, bio-medical waste, electronic waste and construction debris waste. These guidelines will be issued every 15 days in the next one year,” said Javadekar, adding the plan will be made public soon.