The Bombay high court had stayed the construction of the Metro-3 car shed at the Kanjurmarg site.(HT File)
The Bombay high court had stayed the construction of the Metro-3 car shed at the Kanjurmarg site.(HT File)

Shiv Sena-BJP fight to delay Mumbai’s Metro, transport infra upgrade?

The fight between Sena and BJP over car shed plot will impact the much-needed transport upgrade, say experts; development agenda likely to come up in 2022 BMC polls
UPDATED ON DEC 22, 2020 01:12 AM IST

After a brief gap owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and a year ahead of the civic elections, the ally-turned-foes – the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – are again involved in a tussle, this time over the city’s infrastructure projects, which could delay the much-needed transport upgrade.

The big fight

The BJP, which came to power in the state in 2014 riding on the development plank, is not leaving any opportunity to show that the decisions of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government – an alliance of the Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – are anti-development, especially after the state’s decision to move the Metro car depot out of Aarey Milk Colony. The Thackerays and the Shiv Sena were invested in the ‘Save Aarey’ campaign and moving the car shed from the Aarey Milk Colony in Goregaon to save the wildlife and environment was one of the party’s poll promises.

Over the past few weeks, the BJP-led Centre and state have been engaged in a legal battle over the ownership of the 45-hectare Kanjurmarg plot, the state’s alternative to Aarey for the car shed. The Centre moved court, terming the city collector’s order to transfer land for Metro illegal. The Bombay high court stayed allotment of the Kanjurmarg land for the proposed integrated Metro car shed project.

In a tit-for-tat move, the Thackeray government then decided to carry out technical assessment to house the Metro depot on a plot in Bandra-Kurla Complex, which the state had given to the Centre for the bullet train project. Besides, Thackeray also met locals from Dahanu taluka in the neighbouring Palghar district, who are opposing the Centre’s Wadhawan port project, and expressed support for them.

Change in stance

Amid this, Thackeray, in a public address on Sunday, softened his stance and called for a dialogue with the Centre and the Opposition BJP over the Kanjurmarg plot for the “larger public good”.

Thackeray, in his address, said, “The unfortunate part is that the Centre has gone to court against the state about the Kanjurmarg land, saying it is a salt pan land. The state is only acting for the welfare of the city, and the Centre should do that too. These things can be sorted out through discussions…I am also ultimately a sevak of people, like PM Modi says he is pradhan sevak…You (the Centre) should serve the people instead of politicking and if you can’t do that you are not fit to be on the chair.”

Political observers said Thackeray’s overtures to the Centre could have been triggered after the BJP painted the Sena as anti-infrastructure development and called its decisions ego-driven. Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis called the government’s move to look at BKC for car depot a “childish” idea.

After Thackeray’s appeal, the Opposition said it was willing to support the government, provided it gave up its insistence on Kanjurmarg land, as it would delay the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro project by three years and escalate the project cost. Fadnavis said a government-appointed committee itself has ruled out Kanjurmarg plot and it must follow its recommendation.

“The project is at such a stage that changing [its plan] now will create issues. The Centre will fully cooperate... Today the CM said that in the future more space would be required [for Metro-3 depot in Aarey]. It is not so, the car shed has been designed considering maximum capacity of the corridor. The entire change should be kept aside and Mumbaikars must be given this Metro line this [coming] year. We are with the government; the chief minister should announce and finish the project. There is no question of any credit war. He should immediately take a decision and take full credit for it, we have no issue with it,” Fadnavis said.

Prep for polls

With an eye on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections in February 2022, the BJP has begun work in Assembly segments and civic wards. The party had given a close fight to the Shiv Sena in the 2017 elections, bagging 82 seats in the 227-member BMC. After losing power in the state government, the BJP is expected to go strongly against the Sena to dislodge them from the BMC, where it has ruled for three decades. The BJP has the backing of non-Marathi, north Indian, and business-class voters and it could use the development agenda against the Sena’s Marathi manoos plank.

Political analyst Surendra Jondhale said the ongoing issue is a “clash of corporate interests” through the two political parties. He said, “It can’t be said that development will happen if the car depot is made in Aarey and not in Kanjurmarg. However, the BJP will take advantage of this confusion created by the Sena-led government. It may not be the main issue, but development agenda could run parallel for the BJP. The Shiv Sena or the government needs to educate people why they took the decision to move the car depot.”

He added that the BJP got “sensitive” after the government moved the car depot. “Aaditya Thackeray took a stand and stuck to it. The political leverage will be with the Shiv Sena,” Jondhale said.

Infra need

The need for an additional mass transport system in Mumbai was identified in the early 2000s and action plans were drafted, chalking out a Metro network. In subsequent years, the city only has one 11.4-km functioning Metro corridor. With the construction of four Metro lines underway, it will still take a few years for Mumbai to fully recognise its dream of a Metro network.

AV Shenoy, transport expert, said the political fight is only worsening matters. “There are only two ways to resolve the tussle. Either the Supreme Court can give directives to sort it out in a time-bound manner, keeping public interest in mind, or the state and Centre could back down from their rigid stands and find a middle ground. Maybe Sharad Pawar could mediate between the two entities,” Shenoy said.

“People will not come out on the streets and put pressure. They may definitely show it in the civic elections. Ultimately, only people will suffer because of the fight,” said

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The magistrate's contention that she was not aware of the acitivities of her associate was rejected by the court.
The magistrate's contention that she was not aware of the acitivities of her associate was rejected by the court.

Bombay HC refuses pre-arrest bail to judicial magistrate booked in bribery case

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:17 AM IST
  • While rejecting the anticipatory bail, the court said there was a strong indication of the applicant’s involvement in the offence.
Close
The suspicious car carrying gelatin found outside Mukesh Ambani residence Antilia, has been taken to custody by CBI. (ANI Photo)
The suspicious car carrying gelatin found outside Mukesh Ambani residence Antilia, has been taken to custody by CBI. (ANI Photo)

Autopsy report of owner of SUV found near Ambani's house 'reserved'

Posted by Prashasti Singh | PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:26 AM IST
The autopsy report of Hiren (46), who was found dead in a creek in neighbouring Thane on Friday morning, reserved the opinion on the cause of death, officials said.
Close
Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus was seen lit up ahead of International Women's Day(ANI Twitter)
Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus was seen lit up ahead of International Women's Day(ANI Twitter)

International Women's Day: Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus lights up

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 06:14 AM IST
International Women's Day is observed every year on March 8 in order to create awareness about women's issues.
Close
Police security outside Mukesh Ambani's residence Antilla, after explosives were found in an abandoned car in its vicinity, in Mumbai.(PTI)
Police security outside Mukesh Ambani's residence Antilla, after explosives were found in an abandoned car in its vicinity, in Mumbai.(PTI)

Death of owner of car found near Ambani house fans row

By Swapnil Rawal, Anamika Gharat, Mumbai/thane
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:35 AM IST
BJP raised questions over circumstances surrounding Hiren’s death and said it would urge Centre to have NIA take over probe.
Close
Senior citizens Covid-19 vaccination at BKC Covid Centre. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Senior citizens Covid-19 vaccination at BKC Covid Centre. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Mumbai reports 1,188 new Covid cases; 26,442 inoculated in 24 hours

By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:26 AM IST
The surge in daily reporting of Covid-19 cases continued on Saturday with 1,188 new cases of Covid-19 in the city
Close
Migratory sandpiper birds at a pond near DPS School, Nerul, Seawoods. (HT PHOTO)
Migratory sandpiper birds at a pond near DPS School, Nerul, Seawoods. (HT PHOTO)

Mumbai: Bird-ringing exercise identifies Akshi Beach as crucial habitat for migratory waterbirds

By Prayag Arora-Desai, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:23 AM IST
Of 105 migratory water-birds that were ‘ringed’ or tagged as part of a Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) study at Akshi Beach in September 2019, 31 specimens were resighted at the same location during subsequent months, between October and December 2019
Close
 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Mumbai: Man dies by suicide after killing father, grandfather

By Manish K Pathak, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:19 AM IST
A 20-year-old student died by suicide on Saturday morning after allegedly murdering his father and grandfather
Close
 (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Maharashtra goes past 2.2 million Covid-19 infections

By Faisal Malik, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:20 AM IST
The state’s death toll reached 52,440 after 47 casualties were reported, of which 30 occurred in the past 48 hours and 10 were in the past week. The other seven deaths were from the period before last week, officials said.
Close
Preeti Sharma Menon. (Hindustan Times/File)
Preeti Sharma Menon. (Hindustan Times/File)

After Surat success AAP targets Mumbai civic body polls

By Naresh Kamath, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:10 AM IST
‘Surat today, Mumbai tomorrow’, read the tagline of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the city as they celebrated their remarkable performance in the Surat Municipal Corporation, where they won 27 seats in their debut election
Close
Nationalist Congress Party MLC Anil Bhosale.
Nationalist Congress Party MLC Anil Bhosale.

ED arrests NCP MLC from Pune in a 71 crore bank scam

By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:06 AM IST
The The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday arrested Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member of Legislative Council (MLC) Anil Bhosale and three others in Pune’s Shivajirao Bhosale Co-operative Bank scam
Close
Bombay high court
Bombay high court

Bombay HC allows man to tender evidence to counter wife’s charge of impotency

By Kanchan Chaudhari, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:03 AM IST
The Bombay high court (HC) recently allowed a Borivli resident, whose marriage has been annulled by a civil court at Sangli on the ground of his impotency, to submit medical evidence to prove his “physical competence” at the appellate stage
Close
Mumbai: Man arrested for molesting woman at Bandra station
Mumbai: Man arrested for molesting woman at Bandra station

Mumbai: Man arrested for molesting woman at Bandra station

By Megha Sood, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:01 AM IST
The Bandra Government Railway Police (GRP) on Saturday tracked and arrested a 49-year-old man from Antop Hill for allegedly molesting a woman twice at Bandra railway station on Wednesday
Close
The Suvidha centre will be built on a 2,600-square metre plot in Dharavi. (HT FILE)
The Suvidha centre will be built on a 2,600-square metre plot in Dharavi. (HT FILE)

Mumbai civic body plans to build Suvidha centre in Dharavi for better sanitation

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:18 PM IST
In Asia’s largest slum Dharavi where 80% of locals depend on community toilets, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned to set up a ground-plus-two storey Suvidha centre. The centre will have 111 toilets along with other facilities such as laundry, water ATM. Citizens will also be given education on sanitation at the centre.
Close
For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)
For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)

Mumbai: Pocso court sentences man to 5-year rigorous jail for molesting minor

By Charul Shah, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:15 PM IST
In a speedy trial, a special Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) court on Friday sentenced a 52-year-old man to five years of rigorous imprisonment, about two-and-a-half months after he molested a 7-year-old girl residing in his neighbourhood.
Close
NCB has named actor Rhea Chakraborty along with 32 others in the charge sheet in the drug case in connection with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. (HT FILE)
NCB has named actor Rhea Chakraborty along with 32 others in the charge sheet in the drug case in connection with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. (HT FILE)

NCB charge sheet based on inadmissible evidence: Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer

By Charul Shah, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:12 PM IST
A day after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) filed its charge sheet in the drug case that the agency probed in connection with untimely death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, actor Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer advocate Satish Maneshinde on Saturday said that it appears to be based on inadmissible evidence.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP