During Fadnavis's tenure as chief minister, his government's action of cutting trees in the leafy Aarey Colony here at night after the court's nod for the car shed had come in for criticism.
Devendra Fadnavis. File pic
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday claimed that 25 per cent of work of the Mumbai Metro car shed in Aarey Colony was completed after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had given his approval. Speaking in the Legislative Council, Fadnavis also averred that no more trees will be cut for the car shed project, and said he was ready to apologise for the sake of Mumbai's people if someone felt it was a crime to cut trees at night.
During Fadnavis's tenure as chief minister, his government's action of cutting trees in the leafy Aarey Colony here at night after the court's nod for the car shed had come in for criticism. Thackeray, after he became chief minister in 2019, shifted the Metro car shed site to Kanjur as environmental groups were opposed to tree felling for the project in Aarey area.
In-principle approval for the project was given by the Congress-NCP government led by Prithviraj Chavan, Fadnavis said. When Fadnavis became chief minister, he met Thackeray as the Shiv Sena chief was unhappy with the planned felling of trees, he said. After Thackeray came on board, the work began and 25 per cent work was done "when we (the Shiv Sena and BJP) were together (from 2014-2019)," Fadnavis said.
The present Eknath Shinde-led government has again shifted the car shed site to Aarey Colony. Fadnavis assured that not a single tree will be cut for the car shed in future. The decision to shift the car shed site to Aarey was not a matter of his government's “ego” but a step for the betterment of Mumbai, the BJP leader said. “If anyone feels we committed a crime by cutting trees at night, then I am even ready to apologise for the sake of Mumbaikars,” he said.
Citing recommendations from different panels, Fadnavis said it would have taken four years for stabilisation of land in Kanjur as the area is marshy, entailing additional expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore. “For a car shed worth Rs 400 crore, investment of Rs 20,000 crore is lying dead. What will be the ramification of this? Ultimately the common man will have to face the burden in the form of ticket cost,” he said.
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