Maharashtra Removes Mumbai Metro Managing Director Ashwini Bhide Amid Aarey Tree Felling Controversy
A crane lifts fallen trees to be carried away for building a construction site of metro car at Aarey Colony, Mumbai. (Photograph: PTI)

Maharashtra Removes Mumbai Metro Managing Director Ashwini Bhide Amid Aarey Tree Felling Controversy

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Amid the ongoing controversy over the metro car shed here for line-3 trains, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday stripped Ashwini Bhide of the post of managing director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, which is implementing the project.

Bhide will be replaced by Ranjit Singh Deol who is currently serving as the vice chairman and MD of Maharashtra state road transport corporation. The reshuffle comes just a week after the Maharashtra government transferred 22 IAS officers.

Also read: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Announces Stay On Aarey Metro Car Shed Project

Last week, Bhide was elevated to the post of principal secretary. However, during the reshuffle, she has not been given any other charge. Aditya Thackeray, who is also the Maharashtra tourism and environment minister, had last year sought Bhide's transfer for ordering felling of trees at the Aarey colony, famous as the 'lungs of the city'.

The corporation is executing the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 corridor. Bhide's defence of the metro shed had drawn flak from activists as well as political parties. An IAS officer of 1988 batch, Bhide was very active on social media and used to post progress of the 33 km metro corridor.

Also read: Aarey Case: Supreme Court Stays Further Cutting Of Trees For Mumbai Metro Car Shed

A release from MMRC recently mentioned that 100 percent tunneling work of the project will be completed by September this year. Apart from this, the Corporation hopes to complete 70 percent of civil work and get the first rolling stock by December 2020, MMRC said in a statement. Currently, more than 70 percent of the tunnelling work across the 33 kilometre corridor has been completed.

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