Environmentalists and green warriors who had spearheaded the 'Save Aarey' campaign last year, have now written to former chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, requesting him to have a debate on the Aarey and Kanjurmarg depot issues at a public platform.
Earlier in 2015, a technical committee formed by Fadnavis had suggested to move the proposed Metro 3 car depot out of Aarey forest. This same technical committee had also proposed the Kanjurmarg plot as an alternative for the Aarey site which was also supported by citizens and green activist.
Meanwhile, after the state government announced that the Metro carshed at Aarey would be shifted to Kanjurmarg, Fadnavis stated that this step would lead to a loss of Rs 4000 crore to the government, the former CM also claimed that Rs 400 crore was already being spent on the project.
"Despite all the positive benefits of moving depot to Kanjurmarg, you have been making statements which are contrary to the facts. We therefore call upon a public meeting with us the citizens, where we can discuss all issues and lay facts on the table for the people to see," read the letter.
Environmentalist, Zoru Bhathena one of the signatories of the letter stated, that the then Fadnavis government tried to eyewash Mumbaikars with their facts and figures. He also mentioned that the Kanjurmarg plot is the best alternative for building the car shed as it is neither a disputed plot nor a marshy land, as claimed by the earlier government.
"In 2020 we are getting exactly what we had proposed back in 2015. The Kanjurmarg plot is the ideal location for this purpose and what the present government has done in 2020 could have been done easily by the BJP regime in 2015," Bhathena told FPJ.
Earlier on Monday, at an online webinar, environmentalist Priya Mishra questioned Fadnavis's claim of carrying out civil works worth Rs 400 crore at the Aarey plot.
"The total budget of the Aarey carshed was Rs 350 crore, but Fadnavis had claimed that construction works worth Rs 400 crore have been carried out at the Aarey site. But on our visit we saw that only a couple of fences were planted and a few metal barricades had been set up," stated Mishra.
Green activist, Amrita Bhattacharjee applauded the state government for shifting the carshed at Kanjurmarg and stated it to be an ideal location for the carshed.
"Kanjurmarg plot is neither a marshy land nor does it belong to any tribals as it was claimed by the former government. It's an ideal location and the government also doesn't need to pay any compensation to anyone to carry out building works," stated Bhattacharjee.