Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday claimed that his successor Uddhav Thackeray is creating an "investment unfriendly" image of the state by ordering a stay on projects such as the car shed for the Metro 3.
Soon after taking charge as Chief Minister on November 28, Uddhav Thackeray ordered a stay on construction of Metro 3 car shed in Aarey Colony and gave directions for review of several big-ticket projects, including the bullet train, started or approved when the BJP was in power.
Speaking to Marathi daily 'Loksatta' in Mumbai, Mr Fadnavis said, "Not a single infrastructure project can be completed without the cutting down trees. We cut some 2,000 plants in Aarey but four years before it, we have planted some 23,000 saplings and they are alive. Another 25,000 saplings are being planted," he said.
"The Uddhav Thackeray-led new government in Maharashtra should not give a message of the state being unfriendly to investment. Industry people are now sitting tight and thinking whether Maharashtra is still investment friendly or not," he said.
At a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation meeting a few months ago, the BJP voted in support of cutting more than 2,000 trees to make way for the Metro 3 car shed in Aarey Colony, a green belt. The Shiv Sena and some other parties had opposed the move.
Mr Fadnavis said, "If in the long run, Metro is going to save a lot of carbon emission, then cutting down of a few trees should not be made into such big issue."
"Some people are also objecting to bullet train. They should first ask Japan and China whether such high speed trains have benefitted them or not. These countries have openly said such trains have contributed to their national growth," he said.
Mr Fadnavis said India can also reap the benefits of such projects. "We will also have similar benefit. We should not forget that negative sentiments should not be allowed to happen," he said, adding that "During my tenure, two times Maharashtra had fetched highest FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the country. It was because there was assurance of stability."