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Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray chairs meeting on Metro car shed at Aarey, decision likely soon

UPDATED ON AUG 29, 2020 01:36 AM IST

Close to nine months after stalling the Metro-3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) car shed project at Mumbai’s Aarey Colony, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray chaired a meeting with state officials on Friday to discuss possible solutions.

Officials privy to the meeting said the state might take a decision soon.

Earlier in January, a four-member committee appointed by the state to look into possible options had said the car shed should be built in Aarey Colony itself to avoid further cost escalation and delay in the 33.5-km underground metro project.

“The committee had already said the car shed should be in Aarey Colony to avoid further delays. The state will take an appropriate decision soon,” a top official said.

Another official said that options in Pahadi Goregaon are also being looked at. Apart from the car shed, the state has also proposed a 32-storey Metro Bhavan in Aarey Colony.

The state-appointed committee had, in December 2019 and January 2020, visited various sites, including a plot in Kanjurmarg, as suggested by environment activists.

In August 2019, the Bombay high court (HC) had dismissed a bunch of petitions challenging tree-felling at Aarey Colony. On the night of October 4, amid huge protests from citizens and environmentalists, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) which is constructing the metro began felling trees. Twenty nine activists are arrested and charged under sections of the Indian Penal Code after clashes with police when tree felling was underway. MMRC had then said that 2,141 of the 2,185 trees to be felled for construction of the car shed were cut, which is effectively 97% of the trees needed to be cleared for the project.

In November, after assuming office, CM Thackeray stalled all work at the site. A committee was later set up to look into alternative options for shifting the car shed. Phase-1 of the 32,000-crore metro is expected to be operational by December 2021.

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