The National Green Tribunal came down heavily on the Mumbai Metropolitan Railway Company (MMRC) for making statements of starting the work at Aarey Colony for the proposed metro yard while the matter is yet to be heard and asked the parties to maintain a status quo in the matter. Discussing about the Mumbai Metro 3 Yard and Aarey Colony, even the Aarey Conservation Group (ACG) made numerous allegations on MMRC for being secretive about their functions and the work carried out to change the location of the yard from Aarey.
Environmentalist Stalin Dayanand, and the ACG team are now questioning the need of a 24- hectare land to build the yard while a similar facility of MMRC at Four Bunglows at Andheri West is standing on 8- hectare land. “There are many examples of how smaller depots have sufficed for requirements of Metro routes. Even abroad, the New York Metro of 239 station stands on 8.5 hectare land. Why is MMRC gulping down 24 hector biodiversity of Aarey then,” questioned Dayanand.
ACG team members also pointed out the views of environmental experts on the committee, which have opposed the rest of the panel. The experts on the committee have apparently suggested that Kanjurmarg and Backbay are best options since Aarey is not suitable for its ecological significance. “There will be significant loss of biodiversity and disruption of Mithi catchment area as well as flooding risk at airport and Chakala,” the experts have mentioned.
ACG has now demanded MMRC to put all their findings on relocating the Metro yard and ground research work in public domain. Since at least four more clearances including tree authority and CRZ are pending, ACG members mentioned that until all the clearances are received by MMRC and their data is put in public domain to be scrutinised, they will oppose the probable wastage of public funds.