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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Shift Mumbai Metro car shed to 66-acre land at Kanjurmarg, NGO writes to Devendra Fadnavis

The move, which will help save 4,000 trees, unlikely at this stage, said a senior official from Chief Minister’s Office.

mumbai Updated: Jan 28, 2018 23:18 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
The 66-acre land at Kanjurmarg.
The 66-acre land at Kanjurmarg. (HT File )

Three-and-a-half years after citizens and NGOs took up the fight to save land at Aarey Milk Colony from being converted into a Metro car shed, an alternate option for the depot has opened up.

Following HT news report on the city suburban collector taking back 66 acres of land at Kanjurmarg from Jolly Brothers Private Limited, a company under control of the Ajmera Group now, an environmental NGO has written to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to shift the metro car shed to Kanjurmarg land instead of the plot at Aarey Milk Colony in Goregaon.

The letter written by Stalin D, director of Vanashakti and member of the Save Aarey Group on January 18 refers to HT reports to seek state government’s intervention to resolve the conflict over Aarey land by shifting the depot to Kanjurmarg land.

“We hope that the state government will intervene and resolve a long pending conflict. It could be a win win situation for citizens, who are fighting to save city’s green spaces and avoid destruction of 4,000 trees as well as the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) that is building the metro corridor,’’ said Stalin, who, through Vanashakti, has filed a petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the Metro 3 depot and for declaring Aarey land as no development zone. The NGO will take this issue up in its petition before NGT.

HT, in its edition on January 17 had reported that city suburban collector in a first of its kind decision had taken back 66 acres of government land in Kanjurmarg that had been leased to a private company for industrial development in 1984, following violation of lease agreement. The estimated value of this land is now Rs3,000 crore.

In 2016, the Save Aarey Group had identified land in Kanjurmarg, near Jai Ambe Nagar as an alternative site for the metro car shed and suggested the same to the government for consideration.

“The reason given by you for not exploring the option was that the dried up salt pan land was under litigation. This new piece of land has become available instead of the dried up salt pan, which was the subject matter of a litigation in the High Court of Bombay,’’ states the letter.

It also points out: This plot is free from litigation and can be used to locate the Metro 3 car shed. The occupier was trying to sell the land or create a third party interest on it. Kindly note that the said land falls under CRZ 1 and the same is shown in the DP maps.

So far, there has been no response to the letter from the Chief Minister’s Office but a senior official said that reconsideration at this stage would derail the progress of Metro 3 corridor and was unlikely.

“While this land has been resumed by the district collector, the lease owner is expected to appeal for a hearing with the revenue minister. So, the final decision is still pending on this land. Moreover, MMRC has started work on the metro car shed in Aarey, so there is no reason for a rethink at this stage,’’ the senior official said.

Fadnavis was not available for comment.

First Published: Jan 28, 2018 23:18 IST