Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Sunday made a request to the Eknath Shinde government on the controversial Metro car shed project in Mumbai.
"I humbly urge new government to reconsider its decision. Don't cast the hate for us, on to our beloved Mumbai," he tweeted, adding that he would be "missing out on the protest for Aarey forest and the MMRCL land" as he had to attend the sitting of the Legislative Assembly today for the Speaker's election.
This comes after former Chief Minister and Aaditya Thackeray's father Uddhav Thackeray said he was "very upset" and urged the government to not reverse the Metro car shed plan.
Aaditya Thackeray said that protection of the Aarey forest, an urban forest that many refer to as Mumbai's green lung, was not limited to safeguarding the 2,700 trees, rather it was about protecting Mumbai's biodiversity.
"There are daily sightings of leopards and other smaller species in the car shed spot and around it. We're proud of declaring more than 800 acres as forest around it," he said.
He added that that the project "destroys our Mumbai's Aarey Forest" and goes against sustainable development and better planning for the city. "We are staying here instead of being handed over a badly planned project," he said.
Line 6 would anyway need a carshed, either at Kanjurmarg (which was originally thought of in 2018) or at Pahadi Goregaon. Having studied both, both are feasible for Line 3 too.— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) July 3, 2022
Metros don't go to carshed after every trip, they need stabilising lines, that are missing for Line 3.
The issue, which had sparked massive protests in Mumbai by environmental activists, dates back to 2019 when the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation sought the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) permission to fell trees at Aarey Colony.
As activists stepped up their agitation, then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the area identified for the Metro car shed was not categorised as biodiversity or forest land and also reasoned that the Metro would reduce carbon footprint.
The new government, heeding to the protests by activists, decided to shift the Metro car shed to Kanjurmarg.
Hereafter, the BJP-led government at the centre went to Bombay High Court in 2020, saying the land belonged to its Salt department. The High Court then issued a stay. Since then, the project has been in a limbo.
The Shiv Sena has been opposing the plan to build the shed at Aarey even when they were the BJP's alliance partners.
Soon after Eknath Shinde's move, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya tweeted that it will bring the Mumbai Metro work back on track.
Today the Maharashtra Assembly will elect its new speaker ahead of the test of strength on Monday when the new government will have to prove majority in the house.