Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Announces Stay On Aarey Metro Car Shed Project
People enter in to the metro car shed on the spot during tree cutting at Aarey colony in Mumbai. (Source: PTI)

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

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday announced stay on construction of metro car shed project in the city's green lung Aarey Colony, where protests were held last month against cutting of trees for the work.

Speaking to reporters soon after taking charge as Chief Minister in Mantralaya, Thackeray said not a single tree leaf will be cut till further developments.

A Supreme Court bench had last month sought a status report with pictures on plantation, transplantation and felling of trees in Aarey colony area.

The Bombay High Court had on Oct. 4 refused to declare Aarey Colony a forest and declined to quash the Mumbai municipal corporation's decision to allow felling of over 2,600 trees in the green zone to set up a metro car shed.

He took a dig at his predecessor, Fadnavis, over the his "I will come again (as chief minister)" refrain during the poll campaign, saying, "I didn't announce that I will become chief minister."

The Shiv Sena president, who was accompanied by his son and member of legislative assembly Aaditya, also noted that he is the first chief minister of Maharashtra who was born in Mumbai, and added that he is working on plans to ensure the development of the city.

His government will be accountable for every paisa of tax-payers, the chief minister said. Asked about the saffron kurta he was wearing, Thackeray said, cryptically, that it was his favourite colour "which cannot get washed in any laundry". The BJP had aimed barbs at the Sena after it joined hands with the Congress-NCP, questioning its commitment to Hindutva.

Thackeray also avoided direct reply to the question whether he will shift to ‘Varsha’, the official bungalow of chief minister in south Mumbai, from his residence ‘Matoshree' in suburban Bandra.

He will do "whatever it takes to meet people and solve their problems", he said.

Reacting to the decision, former chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, in a series of tweets said, “Japan’s JICA had funded Rs 15,000 crore for this Metro project on nominal interest rates. Such decisions will demotivate investors to come forward in future and all infra projects will get stalled which were already delayed for so long in previous 15 year rule.”

Also read: Supreme Court Extends Ban On Felling Trees In Mumbai’s Aarey Colony For Metro Car Shed Project

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