ACG said the new government’s motive to bring the car shed to Aarey is only because they want to benefit a private builder at Kanjurmarg.
Mumbai: The Metro 3 depot in Aarey was always a forest, activists claimed to counter the government’s assertion, Times Of India reported. “It is a gateway of real estate fortune”, Aarey Conservation Group, a group of conservation activists alleged on Friday. They also alleged that Aarey and Kanjurmarg sites are mere land-grabbing opportunities and a nearly Rs 60,000-crore scam is involved to benefit builders.
The controversial land forest colony was a part of the Eco Sensitive Zone(ESZ)till 2016, claimed environmentalist D Stalin, a key spokesperson. He also said that statements made by deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis are untrue. The activist said the new government’s motive to bring the car shed to Aarey is only because they want to benefit a private builder at Kanjurmarg. He further said that about 250 acres between the Kanjurmarg and Aarey plots could be used for commercial development worth at least Rs 60,000 crores.
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He said that if the Kanjurmarg plot is used only for the Metro 6 elevated line, then just 40 acres (15 hectares) of land is needed and the balance of 60 acres (25 hectares) would be available for builders to develop for ‘Depot Ancillary’ use. However, if it’s used entirely for the integrated depot for Metro lines 3, 4, and 6, then the entire 100 acres (40 hectares) would get used up, leaving no non-CRZ land for the developer to develop under the garb of ancillary use. To prove their claims, the conservation group presented a list of supporting documents.
Meanwhile, the Aarey conservation group also claimed that a high-level committee appointed by the former MVA government had found the Kanjurmarg site beneficial. In addition, they provided a letter written by the managing director of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL), Ashwini Bhide, in 2015 to Chief Secretary Maharashtra on the recommendation of a committee appointed by Metro 3 to provide land of Kanjurmarg for integrated Metro 3 & Metro 6 depot. The letter sought directions from the Chief Secretary to the MMRDA to hand over the Metro 6 project also to the MMRCL and make it a nodal agency for implementation of both lines. Also, it asked for additional funds for the same.
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