Aaditya Thackeray: Government panel report on Aarey car shed not final

Updated: Jan 30, 2020, 07:49 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

The environment minister responds after receiving backlash over panel's reports that recommend resuming work at Aarey Milk Colony

Green activists start a campaign to counter panel's findings. File pic
Green activists start a campaign to counter panel's findings. File pic

After receiving backlash over the government panel report that recommended resuming Metro car shed work at Aarey, Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray said on Wednesday that finding was not final. He said the chief minister, who is both pro-development and pro-environment, will examine the report thoroughly before taking a final decision.

The four-member committee, formed to recommend alternative sites for the Metro car shed depot, submitted its report on Tuesday, said shifting the location was not a feasible option so the stay on the construction activities should be lifted.

"Though the report has been submitted to the Chief Minister's Office, it is not binding (to be accepted by the government). Whatever decision, it will be taken after studying the report," Aaditya told reporters in Navi Mumbai, adding that the government will move forward with the project keeping in mind sustainable development.
"He [Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray] will be going through it [report]. It will be studied in detail. All officials and consultants will be heard (before a decision is made)," he added.

"Shifting the car depot out of Aarey Milk Colony seems to be a difficult considering the progress of the project... Moving it to a new location will also mean a delay in project completion and cost escalation," said a committee member on condition of anonymity.

Devendra Fadnavis, now Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said the recommendation must be taken seriously as the stay on construction work in Aarey is causing a loss of nearly R5 crore per day to the government

Green activists oppose

The green activists have opposed the panel's recommendation and are starting a campaign to counter their 'findings'. "We are trying to build a campaign and counter the panel's points that moving to a new site will be costly, delay the project and is logistically difficult," Amrita Bhattacharya of Aarey Conservation Group told mid-day.

After receiving the news about the panel report, several Mumbaikars took to social media to express their disappointment, tagging Uddhav and Aaditya, who have in the past supported the 'Save Aarey' cause and criticised the earlier Fadnavis-led government for ignoring people's sentiments.

"Ramp work continues, trees are being cut. Are you going to stand by your promise or is the green stance a window dressing? We will not stop until #Aarey is saved!" Remy tweeted, tagging Uddhav, Aaditya, with the hashtag -- #KyaHuaTeraVadaa

Aaditya has said that he will meet the green activists to talk about the issue.

With inputs from Agencies

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