Maharashtra Govt Removes Stay on Car Shed Construction in Mumbai's Aarey Colony

The Eknath Shinde government has tasked the metro rail corporation to mobilise workers and resume work at the site.

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The Maharashtra government has removed the stay on the construction of a car shed in Mumbai's Aarey Milk Colony for metro 3, an official said on Thursday, 21 July.

"We have examined the entire matter and there is no need to bring the matter before the Cabinet. We asked the implementing agency, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, to prepare the proposal and mobilise a contractor," an official was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Shortly after he assumed the post as Deputy Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis had directed the state's urban development department to begin the process for constructing a car shed in Aarey.

The Maharashtra government, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, has also tasked the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to mobilise contractors and resume work at the site.

The state government had, on 12 July, appointed Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Ashwini Bhide as the managing director (MD) of the MMRC.

Bhide was earlier removed from the MMRC MD post in May 2020 by the Uddhav Thackeray-led government, after she fought to implement the Aarey project.

What Is the Aarey Controversy?

Following months of protests from local communities and environmentalists, the then CM Thackeray in October 2020 had announced that the controversial metro car shed is being shifted from Aarey Colony to Kanjurmarg, where “the land will be available at zero rate.”

The building that had already been constructed at Aarey, at a cost of Rs 100 crore, will be used for some other purpose, he had added.

Fadnavis had criticised the decision, saying it would lead to an escalation of costs and delays in the project. He had maintained that the metro project would help mitigate the carbon footprint and would ultimately benefit the environment.

Under the preceding Fadnavis government, the MMRC had announced its plan to cut down over 2,700 trees from the green colony in order to build a car shed for the metro.

After the Shinde government came to power, it overturned the decision of the Thackeray government regarding the car shed on 30 June and ordered the construction of metro 3 in the Aarey Milk Colony.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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