Mumbai's Aarey Colony declared as a reserve forest; metro car shed to be moved to Kanjurmag

The metro project which was supposed to be operational next year, will now be postponed.

Revoking the resolution of the previous government, on Sunday, the CM of Maharashtra junked the construction of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ metro car shed in Mumbai's Aarey Milk Colony. This decision was proclaimed during an online address, just days after the cases against students and activists who had protested the felling of tree here, were withdrawn. Now 800 acres of the Aarey Milk Colony, has been officially recognized as a reserve forest.

New land available at zero rate

Maharashtra's Chief Minister further added that the car shed for a metro project in this area would be shifted to Kanjurmarg. He also mentioned that "the land will be available at zero rate". This latest decision is a reform of the government's previous declaration last month which stated that 600 acres of land in the area would be declared as a forest. As per reports, the DMRC officials had been preparing a feasibility study on merging the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz (Metro 3) line and Swami Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli (Metro 6).

The CM was quoted saying, "This uncertainty over the car shed is over now. Biodiversity in Aarey needs to be to protected. There is an 800-acre jungle in an urban set-up. Mumbai has a natural forest cover," and he added that the building already constructed in Aarey would be used for some other public purpose as an expenditure of Rs.100 crore was incurred for it already. Moreover, the Environment Minister of Maharashtra said that the rights of tribal communities who live in the Aarey area, would be protected.

The proposal to build a metro rail car shed, here at the Aarey Colony land, had met with severe opposition from the concerned citizens who wanted to conserve this green cover of Mumbai. Although the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation had made promises of compensating by planting thrice as many plants somewhere else, the protestors demanded a shift of the project elsewhere.

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