After the Maharashtra State Urban Development Committee recommended Aarey as the best possible spot for the Mumbai Metro 3 car shed, BJP called upon Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to immediately re-start the work of the car shed. BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Wednesday stated that there had already been a delay of two months. Moreover, he alleged that this had caused a loss of Rs.600 crore to the public exchequer.
Somaiya opined, "The Maharashtra government’s Metro car shed committee has given its final report. The Committee has recommended that the car shed should be made in Aarey itself. 60 days have already passed. There has been a loss of Rs.600 crore. I will appeal to the Chief Minister to withdraw your stay. You should immediately allow the car shed work to commence again."
Now the Metro Car Shed committee submitted its final report to CMO, recommending the car shed work to b continued at Aarey. I appeal Thackeray Sarkar to withdraw the stay, delay has already caused loss of ₹600 crores & delay of 60 days @BJP4Maharashtra @Dev_Fadnavis pic.twitter.com/fwaw46ZoqK— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) January 29, 2020
One of the first decisions of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray was to stop the work of the Aarey Metro car shed project. The Maharashtra CM asserted that a single leaf of Aarey would not be cut. On December 11, the government set up the committee to identify alternative land for the Metro car shed. This four-member panel was headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Finance). The other members of the committee included Principal Secretary (environment), managing director of Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), and chief conservator of Forests, Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). The report submitted by them observed that the two alternative places for the car shed were not financially viable.
The Mumbai Metro 3 project comprises a 33.5 km underground corridor running along the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ route. In total, there will be 27 stations out of which 26 will be underground. At present, nearly 74% of the tunneling work has been completed.
There has been a long dispute about the location of the Metro car shed. According to environmental activists, Aarey is a forest area and any construction work would hamper the ecological balance. On the other hand, the Devendra Fadnavis regime often highlighted that the long-term gains of the project would offshoot the temporary damage caused due to the felling of trees.