Woke in Aarey, tree cutters in Aurangabad: Sena wants to chop down 1000 trees for a Bal Thackeray memorial

The Maharahstra government led by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray may have ordered a stay on the car-shed work at Aarey, but it it not against cutting down 1000 trees in Aurangabad.

On his first day in office Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had passed orders to stall the controversial Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro Line-III depot in Aarey.

At that time he had said, "In my presence, not a single tree or leaf in Aarey will be allowed to be cut.”

And while that promise has so far remained it place, it would seem that it was a locality-specific vow.

According to a report by Mumbai Mirror, the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) which is controlled by the Shiv Sena wants to cut down a thousand trees to make way for a Bal Thackeray memorial in Priyadarshini Park.

Much like Aarey, this park too is considered a 'green lung' for the city. It is also home to many species of birds, butterflies, reptiles and smaller mammals.

Earlier, Thackeray had ordered a stay on the work at Aarey as well as announcing the withdrawal of cases filed against 29 activists who had agitated against the project.

The state government had arrested these activists on October 5 while they were protesting against the cutting of trees. They were released on bail the next day.

Incidentally, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) is incurring a daily loss of Rs 4.30 crore after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on November 28 stayed the construction of Metro car shed on the 30 hectares of land in Aarey Colony, The Free Press Journal's Sanjay Jog reported earlier.

A state urban development department officer, who did not want to be identified, told FPJ, ‘’The department has received a letter from MMRCL dated November 28 with regard to complete halt on the metro card shed development work following the CM’s announcement. There has been a daily loss of Rs 4.30 crore incurred by MMRCL. The government has yet to take a decision on the formation of a committee to look into the matter and the time period to lift the stay.’’

Also Read: FPJ Exclusive: Stay on Aarey car shed; MMRCL incurs daily loss of Rs 4.3 crore