Will Shiv Sena let bullet train, Metro depot become reality?

Updated: Nov 28, 2019, 07:21 IST | Chetna Sadadekar, Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

The Sena, by playing virtual opposition for the last five years, had differed from the BJP on several issues. What will happen to those?

A huge number of trees have already been cut down to make way for the Metro III car depot in Aarey. File pic
A huge number of trees have already been cut down to make way for the Metro III car depot in Aarey. File pic

With the reins of the government finally moving into the hands of the Sena-NCP-Congress troika, both, the Metro III car depot and bullet train projects are about to face the toughest challenge ever, so much so that they could be pushed to the back-burner. While the Sena says they always opposed the felling of trees and was never against the Metro, the bullet train is likely to be a tough decision for them.

According to Sena leaders, the Nanar oil refinery would be a shut case. However, one thing the government would seriously need to look into is the condition of roads, because it won't be able to indulge in blame-games any more.

Too much expectations?
Speaking to mid-day, activist Zoru Bhathena said, "We are hopeful that the Sena, Congress and NCP, who have been supporting the cause of Aarey till now, will do the needful to notify it as a forest and declare it as an eco-sensitive zone of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. This will help protect the city's last green lung. It will also help put an end to any kind of development work inside Aarey."

Multiple protests have been staged against the Metro III car depot project at Aarey. File pic
Multiple protests have been staged against the Metro III car depot project at Aarey. File pic

Sena leader and MLA Pratap Sarnaik said, "We had opposed construction of the Metro car depot inside Aarey to protect trees, but most of them have already been cut and there are hardly any left. We were never against the Metro." This, however, has not gone down well with activists and one of them said it was too much to expect from politicians.

Earlier, Sena had opposed BJP's ambitious bullet train project due to the massive displacement of farmers. With the three-party alliance forming the government, the future of the project remains in doldrums, as the land acquisition is likely to get affected.

Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said, "Nanar is a shut case for us and as far as the bullet train is concerned, we have been saying that it affects so many people, so why go ahead with it?"

Further, the real estate sector hopes to get a push with the alliance coming to power, as Sena is in charge of the development plan and building proposal department, and now Uddhav Thackeray would be in-charge of the urban development department.

Requesting anonymity, a developer said, "Earlier we used to approach the Sena leaders whenever there was a problem, and now with them being in the government, we hope the sector gets a push and new schemes are launched. It will be great if the SRA projects, which are stuck, are completed."

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