Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced that the metro car shed at the Aarey Milk Colony would be shifted to Kanjurmarg and "no cost will be incurred for the purpose". The Devendra Fadnavis-led government's decision to cut nearly 2,700 trees in Aarey to build the metro car shed had led to a huge protest in Mumbai.

In a video address to the state, Thackeray announced that the state government has decided to withdraw all cases registered against people who were protesting against the Aarey metro car shed, adding that the building which has come up in Aarey forest will be utilised for some other public purpose.

"I am happy to announce that Aarey car shed is now being moved to Kanjurmarg. The plot in Kanjurmarg is government land and it will be provided at zero cost for Metro car shed. The money used to construct the building -- Rs 100 crore-- will not go waste either. That building will be used for a public purpose," Thackeray said in his address.

During his address, Thackeray also thanked his son Aaditya, who is the Environmental Minister in the state, for saving the Aarey forest and declared that 800 acres of land in Mumbai's Aareya a reserve forest.

"Biodiversity in Aarey needs to be to conserved and protected. Nowhere is there an 800-acre jungle in an urban set up. Mumbai has a natural forest cover," he said.

This comes days after the Maharashtra Chief Minister directed the officials to immediately withdraw cases registered against protesters last year for opposing the cutting of trees in Mumbai's Aarey. In a tweet, Thackeray's office had said that he has directed the officials to begin the process for withdrawing cases against the protestors.

Last year, huge protests erupted in Mumbai over the cutting of trees in Aarey colony. However, after the Uddhav Thackeray government came to power, it stayed the order for the Aarey metro car shed project. Later, it appointed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to prepare a feasibility study on Metro 3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) sharing its car shed with Line 6 (Vikhroli-Lokhandwala).

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma