'Mr Devendra Fadnavis, where did Rs 330 crore go?' Activists question former CM

Updated: 23 October, 2020 07:56 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Activists question former CM after RTI reply reveals only Rs 70 cr and not Rs 400 cr was spent on car depot at Aarey

Thousands of trees were chopped at the car depot site at Aarey Milk Colony. PIC/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Thousands of trees were chopped at the car depot site at Aarey Milk Colony. PIC/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Green activist Zoru Bhathena, who has also been part of the Aarey Conservation Group, has claimed that only Rs 70 crore were spent on the Metro 3 car depot work in Aarey Milk Colony, while former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had claimed that Rs 400 crore were spent on it. The information was revealed via an RTI query filed by environmentalist Stalin D.

Talking to mid-day, Bhathena alleged, "The information that our group member and environmentalist Stalin D received from the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) through an RTI query has exposed Devendra Fadnavis."

"The RTI reply from MMRCL states that only Rs 70 crore were spent for the car depot work. This includes Rs 5 crore to cut trees, Rs 27 crore to destroy the natural soil/flood plain zone, Rs 2 crore to build drains/remove pipes to destroy the natural perennial streams. So Rs 34 crore spent to destroy the natural environment in Aarey. Another Rs 17 crore was spent to build temporary sheds and just Rs 20 crore were spent on permanent cement/RCC work. Such a shame that your info/data and your priorities are all so wrong.

Also Read: Eknath Khadse: I have been humiliated for 4 years, leaving BJP only because of Devendra Fadnavis

And it is Mumbai that has suffered because of this wrong. Mr Fadnavis do let us know where the balance Rs 330 crore went (the Rs 330 crore additional amount you claim your government spent on this depot)," tweeted Bhathena.

'The truth is out'

After CM Uddhav Thackeray took the decision to move the car depot of Metro line 3 from Aarey Milk Colony to Kanjurmarg, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had to face a lot of criticism from the opposition. Leader of opposition Fadnavis had taken to Twitter for potshots at the government and had said the decision was not right as already a huge amount of money had been spent on the car depot site.

Environmentalist Stalin D said, "The truth has come out. We always maintained that less than Rs 100 crore was spent on the Aarey metro site. Some vested interests were throwing random figures like Rs 450 cr etc to mislead people and discredit the MVA government. It is most unfortunate to see that people are being misled all the while."

While the current MVA government has claimed that the Kanjurmarg plot is free of litigation and was handed over to MMRDA free of cost, Fadnavis had alleged that it had betrayed Mumbaikars. In a series of tweets, Fadnavis had alleged that Aarey was the best option for the car depot.

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First Published: 23 October, 2020 07:46 IST

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