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Shinde takes big decision, to shift Metro car shed back to Aarey

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Mumbai, July 01: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in his first big move overturned the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led government's decision of moving the Metro 3 car shed from Aarey in Mumbai.

Shinde takes big decision, to shift Metro car shed back to Aarey

Fadnavis directed the state Advocate General and the administration to submit a proposal on building the Metro-3 car shed in Aarey Colony instead of Kanjurmarg. Fadnavis asked the advocate general to represent the government's side of building the car shed in Aarey Colony.

Officials in the urban development department said the matter is currently in the court and the next hearing will be held 15 days later. The advocate general was asked how can the project be shifted to Aarey Colony as the previous MVA government had proposed to shift the car shed to Kanjurmarg and designated Aarey Colony as a reserve forest, they said.

Fadnavis told the officials that the 33-km-long Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground Metro project is getting delayed due to the court case. Meanwhile, the NCP objected to the new government's proposal to shift the Metro car shed to Aarey Colony.

In a tweet, NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto said, "With so many important issues that need to be looked into in Maharashtra, what does the new Dy. CM Devendra Fadnavis do? He proposes to move Metro car shed back to Aarey. Re-creating a problem solved by MVA Govt. Green lung of Mumbai in danger once again. What will he gain?"

In 2019, the Maharashtra government move to provide a part of this ecologically sensitive zone for a Metro car shed, invoked strong protest by environmentalists and citizens' groups.

Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation announced its plan to cut down over 2,700 trees from the Aarey colony in order to build a car shed for the Metro. The colony, spread over 13,000 hectares, is home to over 27 Adivasi villages and inhabits various animal species.

However, the Maharashtra government had stayed the order for the Aarey metro car shed project following massive public agitation in the city.

In 2020, Thackeray, who heads the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government, had announced stay on construction of the metro car shed project in the colony, a prime green lung of the city. He had said the proposed car shed has been shifted from Aarey to Kanjur Marg.

Why Aaray forest is important?

It is a well known fact that green cover in cities can help tackle rising air pollution. The Nature Conservancy's study reports how urban trees can remove up to a quarter of PM pollution within a few meters, and can even function as a barrier for local residents, filtering bad air.

Eknath Shinde
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