Fadnavis writes to Maha CM to relocate Metro car shed to Aarey

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Mumbai, Jan 21 (PTI) Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday appealed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to relocate a proposed Metro car shed to Aarey Colony in Mumbai.

Aarey Colony was the old site for the construction of the proposed car shed for Metro-3 line between Colaba in south Mumbai and SEEPZ, before the state government announced shifting of the project to Kanjurmarg.

In a letter addressed to Thackeray, Fadnavis alleged that some state officials were 'misguiding' the government over the proposed car shed project for Metro-3 line.

It will lead to a major delay in the completion of the work and over-expenditure, the former chief minister said.

'If the car shed is shifted to Kanjurmarg, it will end up in cutting of more number of trees, the project will be delayed and crores of rupees will be wasted,' he claimed.

The BJP leader said it is also a 'lie' that the Aarey car shed land is available only till 2031.

While planning for the Metro-3 line car shed, planners have estimated the population growth till 2053, he said.

The depot will have enough space to accommodate the number of Metro cars that would be required in 2053, when the movement of Metro trains 'will be at its peak', he said.

In the beginning, only 31 trains would be required, while the number would later increase to 42 with each train having eight coaches, Fadnavis said.

'The technical committee set up for studying the car shed at Aarey land had recommended use of 25 hectares of land at the beginning. The remaining 1.4 hectares could be used later. There are 160 trees on that small piece of land, which can be translocated by 2053,' he claimed.

Fadnavis also said it is impractical to merge Metro-2 and 3 lines.

A committee headed by Maharashtra chief secretary Sanjay Kumar, which was set up to recommend the site for the construction of the Metro car shed, on Monday visited Kanjurmarg and Aarey Colony sites.

The Bombay High Court on December 14 last year stayed an order passed by Mumbai suburban district collector allotting 102 acre of salt pan land in Kanjurmarg area for the construction of an integrated Metro car shed.

The court had also restrained the authorities from carrying out any construction work at the said land.

The Centre and the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government are locked in a tussle over ownership of the land earmarked by the state for constructing the car depot which was earlier planned at Aarey Colony, a green belt in suburban Goregaon.

The Union government has filed a petition in the HC, challenging the October 1, 2020 order passed by the collector allotting the land for construction of the car shed, and said the land belongs to its (Centre's) salt department.

The previous Maharashtra government led by the BJP had decided to construct the car shed for the Mumbai Metro line-3 at Aarey Colony in the western suburbs, despite opposition from environmentalists and activists to the vast tree-cutting for the project. PTI ND GK GK