MUMBAI (Metro Rail News): Aaditya Thackeray, State environment minister said the “environmental cost of everything” needs to be considered before a decision is taken on the construction of a car shed for the Metro-3 corridor at Aarey Colony, on Saturday. Talking at an event in Mumbai organised by a Marathi news channel, Thackeray was answering to a question on allegations made by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya that the stay on development of the car shed was leading to an escalation in the cost of the project.
In December a committee set up by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to investigate the possible alternative sites for the car shed, in January decided in its report that the Aarey Colony spot was viable for construction work of the depot. It also recommended lifting the stay on construction work of the car shed to expedited the Metro project.
“The issue about the construction of the Metro car shed [at Aarey] needs to be studied before a decision can be made. Without disregarding the cost [escalation] factor, we need to consider what the environmental cost of the project can be when we are doing a good project like the Metro,” Thackeray stated.
The Metro project is being implemented in full speed, said the minister. “There should not come a time in the future when we recount our successes [in terms of] which are the good public transport system — the Metro, or WiFi hotspots at every station…but [we] have to promise oxygen hotspots to citizens as a deliverable future,” he added.
In October 2019 almost 2,000-odd trees were being cut down for constructing the car shed following a nod from the high court, at Aarey, the Shiv Sena had backed those protesting the felling of trees. Being part of its pre-Maharashtra Assembly election promise, the Sena had convinced that Aarey would be declared a forest when the party comes to power.