Mumbai

Aarey Colony tree felling: Aaditya Thackeray should know true motives of protesters, says Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. File  

While sympathising with Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray’s sentiments against the proposed tree felling in Aarey Colony to make way for a Mumbai Metro Line III car shed, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that Mr. Thackeray ought to know the true motives of some of the protesters.

He was speaking to reporters here during the third phase of the BJP’s pre-poll, mega-outreach ‘Mahajanadesh Yatra’ campaign.

“We [the BJP] too, do not want trees to be felled. But there are certain facts that must to be understood. When it is was decided to build the [Metro III corridor] car depot on this site, we received 13,000 objections of which 10,000 were put up on a Bengaluru-based website. The handwritten objections we received were a few hundred,” said Mr. Fadnavis.

Remarking that while Mr. Thackeray’s intentions were “noble”, the Chief Minister said he ought to understand the real intentions of certain persons behind these protests.

“The Supreme Court has already said that the proposed area for the car depot in Aarey Colony is not any forest land or a place rich in biodiversity, but it is government land where permission can be given. It has also ruled out the feasibility of any alternatives,” Mr. Fadnavis said, adding that he would be discussing the matter of tree felling with the Yuva Sena leader and reason with him that such actions had to be taken on grounds of development.

Observing that the funding for the Mumbai Metro Line III project was being done by the Japanese after studying the area for a year, Mr. Fadnavis pointed out that any funding by Japanese firms was always based on sustainability.

Carbon ‘ultra-positive’

Dubbing the project as a carbon “ultra-positive” project, Mr. Fadnavis said: “We will be putting 13,000 trees in place of the trees that will be cut. Furthermore, our government has taken up the task of planting of 50-crore trees across the State of which 33 crore have already been planted. I do not think any previous government has been as sensitive towards the environment.”

Responding to allegations that trees had been felled in Pune district during the course of the ‘yatra’, the Chief Minister denied knowledge of any such incident.

“While I do not think any trees were cut to make way for our campaign procession, I will look into this matter and take stern action against those responsible,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 1:32:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/aarey-colony-tree-felling-aaditya-thackeray-should-know-true-motives-of-protesters-says-fadnavis/article29422956.ece

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