If the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) faces any problem in getting land at Kanjurmarg for the construction of a car depot for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz (Metro-III) route, it has plans to construct a double-decker car depot in Aarey.
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Activists perform a mock funeral of chopped tree trunks as a symbolic gesture for the 2,298 trees that were to face the axe for building the Metro III car shed inside Aarey Colony
But the path does not seem to be that easy — if sources are to believed, then the MMRC will once again have to send a fresh proposal to the BMC-Tree Authority if at all it wants to cut the trees.
A few days back, the National Green Tribunal had passed an important order stating that the BMC shall not issue any further NOC for construction within the entire Eco-Sensitive Area (ESA) in Aarey Colony and if any such illegal activity is noticed, immediate action shall be taken, including demolition thereof, without any delay.
With this order, there is hardly any way left through which the car depot can be constructed; so the authorities are pulling out all the stops to get the Kanjurmarg land for the car depot. It looks like the BMC is in no mood to entertain the MMRC proposal over cutting down trees; it has asked MMRC to wait for the CM’s expert committee’s report on the Metro.
Earlier, the civic body had rejected the proposal for cutting down trees in Aarey and if at all MMRC still wants to construct the depot in Aarey then it will have to once again submit a new proposal. According to superintendent of gardens J V Pardeshi, “The decision was taken in the Tree Authority meeting a few weeks ago and we are now formally communicating it to the MMRC.
A letter to this effect will be sent on Thursday. Basically the decision is that the MMRC proposal for the cutting or transplantation of 2,298 trees has been referred back to them for reconsideration and thus disposed of. If they want us to consider it again, they will have to submit a fresh proposal.”
MMRC had sent a proposal to the BMC Tree Authority demanding that it should give permission to cut 2,298 trees, as it wants to construct a car depot at Aarey. However the same proposal was opposed by a majority in the BMC Tree Authority meeting that took place in February, and the decision was deferred.
“The first proposal by MMRC was referred back and now it is in their hands to send a new proposal. However, as the CM has appointed an expert committee for looking into car depot land, we have decided only after the committee’s decision, anything in this matter will be looked into,” said Niranjan Shetty, Tree Authority member.