Free Press Journal

Mumbai: Proposed Aarey car shed is Rs 18,000 cr scam involving chief minister says Congress


Mumbai: In a direct attack on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam has alleged that there is a big nexus between state government, official of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) and few private builders who want to grab the land of Aarey colony for commercial purpose. The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has rubbished the allegations.

Nirupam claimed that the Metro shed at Aarey colony is a scam of Rs 18,000 crore in which the CM is involved. After activists and the Shiv Sena opposed the car shed in the eco-sensetive Aarey colony, the MMRC published advertisement in various newspapers on Monday and clarified how the car shed will need mere 30 hectare land and will not be used for commercial purpose.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Nirupam countered each and every point which MMRC has put up in advertisement and alleged that MMRC and the state are telling blatant lies. “No Metro yard need more than 18 hectare (approximately 30 acre) land. Kochi Metro yard acquired 10 Ha, Pune Hill Range Yard will be built on 11 Ha, Charkop carshed in Mumbai will be constructed on 12 Ha and Delhi car shed is on 17.1 Ha land. Why does MMRC want 30 Ha land in Aarey colony?” Nirupam said.

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He further said the land belongs to revenue and forest departments, while the dairy development is only a custodian of this land. Though the MMRC advertisement claimed that the land for Aarey depot has been selected on technical grounds after thorough examination, Nirupam alleged no visits were undertaken to assess alternate sites.

“The Kanjur Marg car shed is just 6km away from Aarey car shed. Activists had suggested to use the same car shed by connecting it through an elevated route, which MMRC rejected,” said Nirupam. He added that the state government has agreed that there was a stay order on Aarey through an application to the Bombay High Court in August 2015.

On MMRC’s claim that there will not be real estate development in the car depot, Nirupam said, “Design documents of MMRC shows that 30,000 sqm land will be commercially exploited.” He accused the chief minister of being involved in the conspiracy. The Congress leader also said builders and land mafia want to grab the additional 12 Ha (around 45 acre) land for building commercial and residential complexes.

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“If the land gets one floor space index (FSI) and assuming the current market rate of Rs. 35,000 per square feet, the builder will make profit to the tune of Rs. 4,400 crore. However, as the land is near the depot, the builders will get 4 FSI and the profit will be around Rs. 18,000 crore,” he said and warned that if the issue is not resolved, Congress will intensify its agitation against the Aarey car shed.

The CMO said, “21 Ha will be required for depot, 4 Ha for depot and approach lines and remaining 5 Ha will remain as green patch.” It further said the decision to allot the land for depot was given by cabinet on March 3, 2014 chaired by the then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.