Big Boost To Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 Line: Maharashtra Government Lifts Stay On Construction Of Metro Car Shed at Aarey Colony,

by India Infrahub - Jul 22, 2022 09:40 AM +05:30 IST
Big Boost To Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 Line: Maharashtra Government Lifts Stay On Construction Of Metro Car Shed at Aarey Colony, Aarey Milk Colony
Snapshot
  • In an important decision that will expedite the completion of the ambitious 33.5 km underground Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Mumbai Metro-3 project, the new government in Maharashtra on Thursday (July 21) announced lifting of the stay on the construction of car shed at the Aarey Milk Colony.

In an important decision that will expedite the completion of the ambitious 33.5 km underground Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Mumbai Metro-3 project, the new government in Maharashtra on Thursday (July 21) announced lifting of the stay on the construction of car shed at the Aarey Milk Colony.

The move came a day after Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, at a meeting with Consul General of Japan in Mumbai Fukahori Yasukata, assured him of fast-tracking Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded projects, which include the Mumbai Metro's Line 3.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Fadnavis announced lifting of the stay on the construction of Metro-3 car shed in the Aarey Colony in suburban Goregaon, reversing a decision taken by the previous Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, on becoming chief minister in November 2019, had ordered a stay on the car shed construction in the Aarey Colony, and announced that the metro shed will come up at Kanjurmag. Uddhav Thackeray also had directed the police to withdraw all cases filed against Aarey protestors.

The Shiv Sena and particularly Aditya Thackeray, who has positioned himself as 'environmental crusader', were opposed the Aarey car shed project and demanded relocation of the depot at a site in the eastern suburb of Kanjurmarg, whose ownership was later claimed by a private party as well as the salt commissioner of India.

After Shinde and Fadnavis took oath on June 30, the new government made it clear the new government wants the Metro-3 car shed back in the Aarey Colony site. Within hours of assuming power, the new government directed the State Urban Development Department to place before the Cabinet a proposal for a car shed at Aarey.

Fadnavis said, ''The Supreme Court has already given permission for the construction of Metro-3 car shed at the Aarey site. Despite this, if some environmentalists still want to oppose the construction of the car shed, then their intentions would come under suspicion.'' The chief minister highlighted benefits of the 33.5km-long Line 3 of Mumbai Metro, which will connect Colaba in south Mumbai to SEEPZ (Andheri) in the suburbs.

Shinde said, ''One must understand that once the Metro-3 line becomes operational, it would carry 17 passengers on a daily basis. The entire project is funded by the JICA and any further delay in its completion could have affected the other big-ticket projects as well.'' Asked about then-chief minister Uddhav Thackeray's decision to put a stay on the project, Fadnavis said, ''It was sheer ego and nothing else.'' '

Fadnavis also pointed out that a committee set up by Uddhav Thackeray also recommended that the Metro-3 car shed be constructed at the Aarey site instead the land parcel available at Kanjurmarg. The committee was headed by then-additional chief secretary (finance) Manoj Saunik.

"Thackeray set aside the recommendation and stayed any further construction at the Aarey site,'' Fadnavis said.

Fadnavis said the Aarey Colony site was finalised when the Congress-NCP combine was in power in the state.

''One should not forget that the Aarey site was finalized by then-chief minister Prithviraj Chavan when the Congress and the NCP were in power. Post-2014, the BJP-Sena government only availed international loan for it and started implementing the project,'' Fadnavis said.

In October 2019, the Bombay High Court had dismissed all petitions against the proposed cutting down of over 2,500 trees in Aarey Colony of Mumbai to make way for a Metro car shed.

Several observers had pointed out relocating the metro shed to Kanjurmarg is an impractical idea.

(With inputs from PTI)

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