The senior BJP leader was earlier opposed to the car depot coming up at Aarey, one of Mumbai’s last open green spaces
Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse on Thursday indicated that the car depot for the proposed Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro corridor may come up in the green space at Aarey if other sites are not found to be feasible.
The senior BJP leader was earlier opposed to the car depot coming up at Aarey, one of Mumbai’s last open green spaces.
“Personally I am still against having the car depot at Aarey. However, the option is open. We have to think how long we can delay the Metro project. Mumbaikars have to decide. As minister, I am neither pushing for it, nor am I against it,” Khadse said. He added an expert committee set up in March to study the feasibility of alternative locations for the Metro car depot will submit its report in 15 days. The state will take a decision based on the committee’s report.
“Some people have said that there are options such as land at the Mumbai Port Trust, or salt pan land. However, these sites are in the sensitive Coastal Regulation Zone and it might take a long time to secure permission is what I have been told,” Khadse said. Environmentalists, politicians and activists have been up in arms over the proposal to construct the car depot at Aarey, as it will require felling of over 2,000 trees and lead to partial concretisation of one of Mumbai’s last remaining green areas. After protests, the state government formed a panel to consider other options or find ways of minimizing environmental damage at Aarey. The panel has considered at least five other alternatives, namely, Kanjurmarg, Dharavi, a portion of the Mumbai Port Trust land, Bandra-Kurla Complex and part of the Mumbai University campus at Kalina as possible locations.