Fri, 01 Jul 2022 12:58 PM IST
Soon after taking oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde has reversed the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government's stand on the controversial metro car shed project in Mumbai.
According to a report by news agency ANI, Shinde directed Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to submit in court that the metro car shed be build in Mumbai's Aarey colony itself.
The Shinde government’s first move was celebrated by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya, who on Friday welcomed the announcement. "Shinde Fadnavis Govt decision to bring back MetroCar Shed at Aarey will put Mumbai Metro work back on Track," he tweeted.
WHAT IS THIS MATTER?
The metro car shed controversy goes back to 2019 when the Devendra Fadnavis government announced its decision to cut trees in Mumbai's Aarey area, saying "development is important".
In 2019, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) sought a permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to cut trees at the Aarey Colony, leading to massive protests by the environmental and social activists.
Fadnavis, who then was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, said that the area identified for the metro car shed is not categorised as biodiversity or forest land. He also said that Metro will reduce carbon footprint.
"Why do we save trees because we want to reduce the carbon footprint. So, we need to understand one thing that how much carbon footprint is going to be reduced due to the underground Metro," he had said.
However, the Bombay High Court in September 2019 verbally directed the MMRC and the state government not to cut trees in the Aarey forest area for the construction of a metro car shed, to which they agreed.
Later in October 2019, all petitions against cutting down trees in Aarey Colony were dismissed by the Bombay High Court.
In October 2020, the Thackeray government announced that 800 acres of land in the Aarey Colony would be declared a reserve forest, adding that the metro car shed project has been shifted to Kanjurmarg.