Aarey is government land, not forest, says Fadnavis
Amid protests against the proposed felling of thousands of trees in Mumbai's Aarey Colony to make way for a Metro car shed, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said it is the government's land which does not fall under a forest area.
On Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray's opposition to the proposed felling of over 2,600 trees in the leafy colony, Fadnavis said objections were invited when the decision to set up the car depot for Metro III project in Aarey was taken.
'Around 13,000 objections came...out of those 13,000, 10,000 objections were from one Bengaluru-based website. I can understand the view of Thackeray on this tree-felling issue, but he should understand what is going on in the minds of some handful of people who are opposing it,' he told reporters here.
Fadnavis said the Supreme Court has already clarified that the land does not come under forest or bio-diversity and said such permission (for Metro car shed) can be given.
'So the state government, by adhering to orders passed by the apex court, is working on the project,' he said.
The chief minister pointed out that the Metro III project in Mumbai has received funding from Japan. 'And when they fund any project, they keep its sustainability in mind. Japan did a study on the project for one year and after that, they gave funding to it,' he said.
'The proposed site is the government's land and it neither comes under bio-diversity nor is it a forest land,' the chief minister said.
When it was decided to set up a Metro car depot on the proposed site, the government had planted 23,000 trees in the area, he said
'Why we save trees because we want to reduce the carbon footprint. So, we need to understand one thing that how much carbon footprint is going to be reduced due to the underground Metro,' he said.
He claimed the state has received maximum investment in the country and as far as direct employment is concerned, the state is on the top position.
The Mumbai civic body recently gave its nod to cut over 2,600 trees for setting up a Metro car shed in Aarey Colony, the sprawling green belt of Mumbai.
Environmentalists have been opposing the proposed tree felling. Several Bollywood personalities and politicians have also extended their support to the activists.