In their first cabinet meeting held hours after coming to power, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis took the first step towards overturning the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government’s decision of relocating the proposed Mumbai Metro Line 3 car shed from Aarey Colony.
During the meeting held here on Thursday evening, soon after the swearing-in ceremony, Fadnavis directed the state Advocate General and the administration to submit a proposal on building the Metro-3 car shed in Aarey Colony instead of Kanjurmarg.
Incidentally, Shinde’s predecessor Uddhav Thackeray, immediately after becoming the chief minister in November 2019, had announced a stay on the construction of the proposed Metro-3 car shed in Aarey Colony.
The decision to set up the car shed in the wooded Aarey area had faced opposition from environmental groups as it entailed cutting down hundreds of trees. The Thackeray government had later shifted the site to Kanjurmarg, but it is embroiled in a legal dispute.
Shinde was on Thursday sworn in as the 20th chief minister of Maharashtra, while Fadnavis took oath as the deputy chief minister, just 24 hours after the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Thackeray. During the cabinet meeting, Fadnavis also directed the state administration to revive the Jalyukt Shivar Scheme, which was discontinued by the Thackeray government on charges of corruption. This water conservation scheme was the Fadnavis government’s flagship program. Fadnavis asked the advocate general to represent the government’s side of building the car shed in Aarey Colony.
Officials in the urban development department said the matter is currently in the court and the next hearing will be held 15 days later.
The advocate general was asked how can the project be shifted to Aarey Colony as the previous MVA government had proposed to shift the car shed to Kanjurmarg and designated Aarey Colony as a reserve forest, they said.
Fadnavis told the officials that the 33-km-long Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground Metro project is getting delayed due to the court case.
Meanwhile, the NCP objected to the new government’s proposal to shift the Metro car shed to Aarey Colony.
In a tweet, NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto said, ”With so many important issues that need to be looked into in Maharashtra, what does the new Dy. CM Devendra Fadnavis do? He proposes to move Metro car shed back to Aarey. Re-creating a problem solved by MVA Govt. Green lung of Mumbai in danger once again. What will he gain?”