Mumbai : Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during a visit at Mumbai Metro Project 3 at Azad Maidan, on Wednesday.  Photo by BL SONI
Mumbai : Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during a visit at Mumbai Metro Project 3 at Azad Maidan, on Wednesday.  Photo by BL SONI

Mumbai: Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief, seems to be confused over the issue of loss of environment due to firecrackers and the metro work in Aarey colony.

Thackeray supported his partymen on their stand to challenge the Supreme court and Bombay High Court to disallow sale of firecrackers in residential places. On the other hand, he has strongly opposed the construction of a car shed for Metro III at Aarey colony calling it a colossal damage to the environment. Thackeray said the Aarey saves Mumbai city from pollution.

Thackeray visited Metro III project site on Wednesday at Azad Maidan in South Mumbai. He expressed displeasure over metro work. “I am not happy with metro work being carried out in the vicinity of Aarey colony. I shall visit the area soon and make my stand clear. If nature is being harmed due to this work, Shiv Sena will certainly oppose the work,” Thackeray said.

Thackeray also complained that there were several complaints regarding the damage to buildings due to underground work of the Metro III line. “However, the officers are taking good care to avoid any mishap,” he added. From the beginning, Sena has opposed the metro car shed to be located in Aarey stating environmental issues. However, while he is concerned about environmental degradation, the Sena chief has spoken against the ban on fire crackers.

He expressed his deep anguish accusing the judiciary of passing orders against celebrating Hindu festivals. The minister for environment, Ramdas Kadam, who had initially supported this ban promptly retracted from his earlier statement. He now gloats of the Hindutva ideology, “The party will not support anything that goes against Hindu sentiments.”

Thackeray was critical of the judiciary. “The only things that they haven’t said till now are tear off Panchang (almanac) and our festivals are humbug. They should say it. After all, festivals have already lost their sheen,” Thackeray said. He further challenged, “The excesses of peace would someday explode.”

While administering the oath of “Eco-friendly Diwali” to school children at Mantralaya on Tuesday, Kadam said, “I never said that the state government is contemplating on a ban. I had said that the issue is sensitive and if at all a ban is to be imposed, I would discuss with Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and take appropriate decision,” Kadam said.

Kadam assured the environment ministry will create awareness among the people about the harmful effects of firecrackers. The awareness drive will be undertaken to convince children and their parents of the environmental pollution due to firecrackers.

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