Aaditya Thackeray 'humbly' urges Eknath Shinde to rethink Aarey move amid row

Published on Jul 03, 2022 01:09 PM IST

Apart from leopards, some 300 different varieties of flora and fauna are found in the Aarey forest, located in suburban Goregaon and adjacent to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray.(ANI)
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray.(ANI)
Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Swati Bhasin, New Delhi

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Sunday urged the new Maharashtra government - led by Eknath Shinde - to reconsider its order on Aarey Forest, an 1,800-acre area often called Mumbai's 'green lung'. After coming to power following the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government under Uddhav Thackeray, Eknath Shinde reversed the former government's decision on the Metro car shed project in the Aarey colony. The move - one of the first big decisions of the Shinde government- has drawn flak from environmentalists who are gearing up for another round of battle.

In a series of tweets, Aaditya Thackeray made appeals to the Maharashtra government for a rethink. “Since I have to attend sitting of state assembly today, I will be missing out on the protest for Aarey Forest and the MMRCL land. I humbly urge new Govt to reconsider its decision. Don’t cast the hate for us, on to our beloved Mumbai," Uddhav Thackeray's son wrote.

Also read | Raj Thackeray's son Amit against new govt's Aarey decision, says: 'Shocking'

He further spoke about the need for sustainable development. “This is about sustainable development and better planning. This is about Mumbai’s development and we staying here instead of being handed over a badly planned project that destroys our Mumbai’s Aarey Forest.”

“Aarey isn’t only about 2700+ trees, it is about it’s biodiversity that we are seeking to protect in our Mumbai,” he added.

In September 2019, Devendra Fadnavis, who was the chief minister at the time, had said that the government was bound to cut trees in the Aarey forest area as "development is important".

The Uddhav Thackeray government collapsed this week following a rebellion by the rebel party MLAs, led by Shinde. Earlier, Uddhav had stayed the order for the Aarey metro car shed project following massive public agitation in 2019.

Aaditya Thackeray said: "While the carshed work was given a stay by the then CM, Uddhav Thackeray ji, the work on the Line 3 was fully supported to be carried on. The alternate location of Kanjurmarg, disputed by GoI, will fit in depots for metro lines 3,4,6,14 into 1 space, thus saving on cost & time." He also reiterated the same while speaking to reporters as he requested the government not to harm the forests in the city.

Apart from leopards, some 300 different varieties of flora and fauna are found in the Aarey forest, located in suburban Goregaon and adjacent to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. According to activists, the forest not only provides fresh air to people of the city, but is also a key habitat for the wildlife, including some endemic species. The forest has some five lakh trees, and also has a couple of rivers and some lakes flowing through it, they say.

(With agency inputs)

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