Metro Bhavan at Aarey: Public hearing begins

Mumbai: The Maharashtra town planning authority has initiated online public hearing on the proposed Metro Bhavan at Aarey. The authority has been calling citizens via emails who sent their suggestions and objections on the proposed project in September 2019.

Zoru Bhathena, one of the city-based activist who had raised objection on the construction of Metro Bhavan and other projects at Aarey, said, "I have received the public hearing invitation scheduled on July 29. Aarey is a green zone and, therefore, no construction can be carried out here, same objection was raised before the authority also. The Metro Bhavan can be constructed at any other non-green zone part of Mumbai, by constructing Metro Bhavan and metro carshed, it seems the authority is trying to occupy the entire part of Aarey, which needs to be stopped."

A public hearing for the proposed Metro -3 carshed at Aarey was also held by calling citizens who registered their objections on different time slots provided.

To undertake the construction of Metro Bhavan at Aarey, the existing land use needs to be changed first. Currently, Aarey comes under green zone as per the city's development plan (DP) and eco-sensitive zone under the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF). Reportedly, the town planning authority had received more than 2,000 suggestions and objections on change of land use proposal.

Bapu Pawar, Joint Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA and Spokesperson said, "Once all related approvals and clearances are obtained then only the Metro Bhavan project work can start." When further questioned about project cost Pawar replied, "The process has been completed a year ago. In the executive committee meeting chaired by the state chief secretary, the estimated project cost was asked to curtail and accordingly revised cost proposal was tabled and approval on same already obtained."

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