Mumbai, Oct 12: Hitting out at the Maharashtra government, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the decision to shift Aarey car shed to Kanjurmarg is "unfortunate" and has been taken just to "satisfy the ego" and this move will put an additional burden of Rs 4,000 crore on the Maharashtra government.
"Unfortunate decision to shift metro car shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg and that too just to satisfy the ego. This decision will increase the cost of the project by at least Rs 4,000 crore and this cost escalation is assessed by the committee appointed by this Government," Fadnavis said.
These comments came after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that the state government has withdrawn cases registered against people who were protesting against the proposed metro car shed in Aarey. He said the proposed car shed has been shifted from Aarey to Kanjur Marg. "We have withdrawn cases registered against people who were protesting against the proposed metro car shed in Aarey. The proposed car shed has been shifted from Aarey to Kanjur Marg," Thackeray said in a virtual address on Sunday.
Responding to this announcement, he said that the former government "had earlier considered the Kanjurmarg site". However, it was "under litigation and stayed by High Court. "Some private individuals claimed their rights. The stay was requested to be withdrawn. The High Court wanted the amount to be deposited if the claims got settled in the future. This amount was around ₹ 2,400 crore in 2015.
Questioning the chief minister, the BJP leader asked, "What is the status of that case today? And if someone moves the Supreme Court, who will be responsible for the delay?" He further said since the site in Kanjurmarg is a marshy land, it will require at least two years to stabilize it. In addition to this, he said, "all the previous tenders will have to be scraped and a new process will have to be followed. No DPR or feasibility report has been made for this site."
Speaking about the loss, the government could suffer from this decision, the leader of opposition in the Legislative Assembly said, "This means that the Metro project, which would have been in the service of Mumbaikars just next year, has now been postponed indefinitely. Rs 400 crore was already spent for Aarey car shed, Rs 1,300 crore wasted due to staying of the project and additional cost escalation of Rs 4,000 crore."
"Rs 2,400 crore cost burden if in case the Kanjurmarg land dispute remains as it was. What will be today's cost? Metro project delayed for an indefinite period," Fadnavis added. The former chief minister asked what exactly does the state government want to achieve by blocking the seamless journey of Mumbaikars?
Ahead of the 2019 Assembly elections, the BJP's former ally Shiv Sena had opposed the project claiming it would harm the environment in the city's prominent green colony.