Save Aarey: CM, MMRC out of sync over Mumbai Metro-III car depot

During his interaction with reporters yesterday, CM Devendra Fadnavis hinted that the Metro-3 car depot will be constructed in Aarey Colony and would require felling of around 350 trees. But this does not match the esitmate given by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) which stated it would need to axe around 1,000 trees in its proposal to the the Urban Development (UDD).

The CM said, “We have received a fresh proposal from MMRC, stating that only 350 trees will have to be chopped to construct the car depot in Aarey, against the earlier requirement of 2,000 trees. We will have to decide whether we should spend over Rs 1,500 crore to save 350 trees or chop 350 trees instead of 2,000.” The CM added that though the trees facing the axe were not rare, permission will be sought from the authorities to do the needful.

The contradiction
While Fadnavis claimed that only 350 trees would be chopped, an MMRC officer said during a recent board meeting, officers discussed chopping at least 1,000 trees to build the car depot on the 24-hectare plot inside Aarey. The officer added that a formal proposal has been sent to the UDD for the same.

Speaking to mid-day, the officer said, “Soon, we’ll be awarding tenders to start construction work along the alignment. So we think it would be helpful if we have the car depot in Aarey. A formal proposal has already been sent to the UDD. Once we get the clearance, work will commence.”

Unfeasible alternative
Another MMRC officer claimed that the consultant who was asked to survey the Kanjurmarg land said the plot is marshy and would require 16 to 18 months to make it suitable for the Metro car depot. “This is why we are considering Aarey land,” he added.

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