The Maharashtra environment Minister supported the government’s proposal of chucking the Metro shed at Aarey forest. There are rumours that the decision had a more political bend.
The green lung of the city, Aarey colony was hampered as most of the trees have been cut. The decision of the government to advance the Metro shed to Kanjurmarg in Mumbai will significantly affect the Metro-3 project and public transport. It would further delay and boost the expenditure of the project.
In August 2019, the BMC had given their nod to cut the trees at the colony. While the BJP and NCP sided with the decision but the Shiv Sena were against it.
The issue was brought to the Mumbai high court by the activists opposing the decision. But their petitions were rejected by the court and in 24 hours around 2,135 trees were cut.
This is the reason, Aaditya Thackeray has been against the tree cutting. He also mentioned that for the future and lives of the Adivasi’s, Aarey should be preserved.
Even the Supreme Court looked into the affair but 2,141 trees were already cut out of 2,185. Many influencers like Shraddha Kapoor, Dia Mirza also supported the protest.
The Chief of Metro Rail Corporation, Ashwini Bhide challenged the controversy and questioned the protestors why did they not oppose to other instances of tree cutting. She also listed out the environmental benefits of the project.
Now, the coalition of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress, Maha Vikas Aghadi government has scrapped the project and then declined the cases against the activists. They are shifting the project to Kanjurmarg and no cost shall be incurred.
They also stated that the structure at the Aarey forest will not go waste and could be used for other purposes.
The chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray stated Aarey forest is the natural cover of Mumbai which needs to be preserved and protected.
The opposition claims that the decision was taken only because they supported the Metro shed and it will also increase the cost to a minimum Rs. 4,000 crores as calculated by the committee set by the government.