Hours after being sworn in as Maharashtra chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray has stalled the building of a metro car shed at Aarey, thus preventing the felling of trees. Thackeray has ordered a review on the decision that involved cutting down thousands of trees for the construction work.
The car shed was needed there as the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) said that without it, further work of tunnelling in the area would be delayed.
However, the rest of the work for the metro project will go on as usual. Over 2,060 trees needed to be felled for building the car shed. Green activists had moved Bombay High Court appealing against cutting down of so many trees, but the court dismissed the petitions on October 4.
The activists then moved Supreme Court which had stayed the felling of trees till further hearing but didn’t stop the metro project. The MMRC has already completed almost 70 per cent of work in the area and already cut down a large number of trees.
Thackeray has said that his government will not allow a culture of cutting down trees. Green activists have welcomed his move. But Devendra Fadnavis – the recently displaced CM of the three-days’ interim government in Maharashtra took to Twitter to say, “It is unfortunate that the state government stayed Aarey Metro CarShed work in spite of Hon Supreme Court and Hon High Court orders. This shows State Government is not serious about Mumbai Infrastructure projects! And ultimate sufferer is common Mumbaikar only!…”