Activists say that it will help integration of different metro lines in Mumbai and reduce cutting of trees in the city.

 

New Delhi: After the Maharashtra government-appointed panel recommended that the car shed at Kanjurmarg is a better location than Aarey forest, environmental activists said that barren land in Kanjurmarg is an ideal location, and it will help the integration of different metro lines in Mumbai and thereby reduce chopping off trees in the city.

The nine-member third committee appointed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on 16 January submitted the report after examining the issue of where the metro car shed 3 should be constructed, and the report said that Kanjurmarg was more suitable than the Aarey Colony for two reasons.

The committee, headed by Maharashtra State Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar, said in the report that the Kanjurmarg location is a better option for integration of multiple metro lines, and a future expansion plan was possible on this land.

Stalin, an environmental activist in Mumbai, told The Sunday Guardian, “Kanjurmarg location is ideal for the construction of the metro car shed as there is over 100-hectare abandoned land along the Eastern expressway. As there are no trees on this land, ecological damage will be less.”

Talking about the earlier plan of construction of metro car shed in Aarey Colony, Stalin told The Sunday Guardian, “The BJP government’s plan was to develop the Aarey forest on the lines of the Bandra Kurla Complex, and later transfer it to real estate developers to make it a major industrial hub in Mumbai. If this had happened, the ecological damage would have been severe.” Earlier, the government had planned to construct metro car shed at three locations: Kalina, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Aarey Colony and Kanjurmarg. Now, the government is planning to construct the metro car shed in Kanjuring, saying that the land is ideal for future expansion.

Amrita Bhattacharjee, member of the Aarey Conservation Group, told The Sunday Guardian, “Kanjurmarg is the ideal location because after the construction of expressway, a lot of mangrove trees have already been chopped off, and there are over 100-hectare barren land. Moreover, several metro lines can be integrated in Kanjurmarg. It is a better place for car shed for Metro-3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) and Metro-6 (Swami Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli) can be integrated in Kanjurmarg. Furthermore, Mumbai Metro line-4 (Wadala-Kasarvadavali) and Airoli Suburban metro line could also be integrated on a future date. Instead of constructing four metro car sheds at different places, it is always a better option to have one common metro car shed.”

She further told The Sunday Guardian, “Common metro car sheds will help in optimum use of land, less capital investment, and easy transit between the different lines, so Kanjurmarg looks like an ideal place. Definitely, if multiple metro car sheds are integrated in Kanjurmarg, then it will be useful.”

Talking about the pollution due to the construction of metro car shed, Stalin told The Sunday Guardian, “Construction of metro car shed near the river will be harmful. The construction of metro car shed in Aarey forest is near the Mithi River. The river originates from Aarey forest and culminates in the Arabian Sea at Mahim creek. The construction in Aarey would affect the river to an extent that we cannot recover it in the future date. Meanwhile, there is no river flowing in Kanjurmarg. It is a barren land and it is an ideal location for the construction.”

When contacted, Mumbai Metropolitan Rail Corporation Limited Chief Engineer Charuhas Jadhav refused to comment on the issue.