Metro-3 not feasible without Aarey shed: MMRC, BMC chiefs
Both officials were addressing students, teachers and citizens opposing the construction of the car shed at Aarey Colony.Updated: Sep 10, 2019, 00:43 IST
As the ongoing protests against the construction of the Metro-3 car shed in Aarey Colony gather steam, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chiefs threw their weight behind the need for axing 2,185 trees to build the shed.
Both said the Aarey site was the “only option”.
Ashwini Bhide, MMRC chief, on Monday, said, “The Metro-3 project will not be feasible if the car shed is not in Aarey Colony.” The view was reiterated by the BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi. “The Metro-3 project will not happen without setting up the depot in Aarey,” he said.
Similarly, addressing questions about constructing the shed at an alternative site in Kanjurmarg, Bhide said, “We cannot set up a Metro line between Aarey and Kanjurmarg, just to take the carriages to the car shed at Kanjurmarg. This shed was never an option and never will be.”
Both officials were addressing students, teachers and citizens opposing the construction of the car shed at Aarey Colony.
They were debating the environment cost of Metro for Mumbai, organised by the Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University at Churchgate. Also present at the debate were Stalin D, director of NGO Vanashakti, and Zoru Bhathena, activist, both of whom have been at the helm of protests.
Meanwhile, Stalin and Bhathena said the government had not even inspected and checked the feasibility of eight other sites, suggested by an expert advisory committee. However, Bhide refuted the claim, and said, “None of the other sites are a feasible option. Everything has been considered.” Stalin quoted an expert committee report submitted to CM Devendra Fadnavis in 2015, which said, “Aarey must be preserved at all cost”. The committee that submitted this report comprised bureaucrats and government-appointed environment scientists. Bhide also pointed out that there were 4.83 lakh trees in Aarey, according to a tree census of 2017-18, of which the car shed will take 2,700 trees. In turn, the MMRC will plant six times the trees it will cut for the project. She further said, “Already 61% of tunnelling work for the project has been done and Rs11,200 crore has been spent. ...The Metro project will be completed soon, but the Metro-3 line cannot be operational without a car shed in place.”