Mumbai: Aarey car shed at Royal Palms?
Sources tell mid-day Metro III car shed will be shifted from Aarey to neighbouring residential complex Royal Palms, with the developer receiving TDR in lieu
In all probability, the controversial car shed of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro III will be shifted from Aarey Colony to a neighbouring residential complex, Royal Palms. Government sources said political bosses, especially Shiv Sena leaders, were of the opinion that the Palms's site was better in terms of technical and financial feasibility.
The proposed car shed at Aarey has seen a series of intense agitations, legal fights and political activity during the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rule.
The Sena, which was in the government then, had also opposed the Aarey site, saying that the tree felling and construction disturbed the bio-diversity of the area, which actually was a forest.
The Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had appointed in December 2019 a high-level five-member committee under the additional chief secretary (finance) to identify alternative sites. The panel was given an extension last month to submit its recommendations. Other than Royal Palms, the panel is learnt to have suggested a site in Vyarali village near Aarey.
Other suggested places
When the controversy erupted, a site in Kanjurmarg and a State Reserve Police Force camp in Goregaon had also been suggested by environmental activists. The Kanjur site wasn't considered because of the cost escalation and delay the additional construction would cause in launching the line.
The car shed could be shifted to Royal Palms. File pic
But, considering the determination of Sena leaders, the party that controls the Urban Development Department under which the metro projects are taken up, the private residential property appears to be a favourite pick. A similar suggestion was made in 2016 but wasn't acted upon because Aarey was preferred.
'TDR to promoter'
According to a leader in the know of the matter, if the government decides to construct a car depot at Royal Palms, then the property's promoter will be given TDR (transferrable development rights). "I am not sure about a land price (at market rate) to be given to the developer, but the people in the scheme of things have strongly suggested TDR as one of the components of compensation because it would allow the promoter to use or sell the amount of additional built-up area to earn the money that he would be losing by surrendering the land for the carshed," he said.
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