Aarey de­pot: Of­fi­cials, ac­tivists spar over tree-cut­ting

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Sau­rabh Katkur­war

MUM­BAI: Af­ter be­ing in cold stor­age for the past sev­eral months, the con­struc­tion of the Aarey Colony metro de­pot has come to the fore once more, thanks to the on­go­ing Twit­ter war between the Mum­bai Metro Rail Cor­po­ra­tion (MMRC) and green ac­tivists.

MMRC man­ag­ing direc­tor Ash­wini Bhide and ac­tivists op­pos­ing the de­pot en­gaged in heated dis­cus­sions on Twit­ter on Mon­day While MMRC of­fi­cials tive for the 30-hectare colony, ac­tivists said they will not al­low the MMRC to chop a sin­gle tree. The de­vel­op­ment casts doubts on a pos­si­ble com­pro­mise in the is­sue, which has al­ready de­layed the project.those close to the de­vel­op­ment said things may turn ugly if the is­sue is not re­solved soon. MMRC has started con­struc­tion work for the un­der­ground cor­ri­dor of the 33.5km Co­laba- Ban­dra-seepz Metro 3. Hence, it has to en­sure the de­pot is built soon so the con­struc­tion of the cor­ri­dor is not af­fected

Group — an um­brella body of pro­test­ers fight­ing against the cut­ting of 2 298 trees in the colony

de­pot to Kan­jur­marg and Kalina.

“The de­pot will not just lead to tree cut­ting but will open up the MMRC can­not go ahead with the con­struc­tion as the mat­ter is sub­ju­dice. MMRC can build a de­pot in Kan­jur­marg with a small sta­bling yard in the Mum­bai Uni­ver­sity cam­pus in Kalina,” said D Stalin, en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist.

“The state -ap­pointed com­mit­tee found other op­tions un­vi­able. We are try­ing to re­duce the area of the de­pot to 20 hectares to min­imise tree cut­ting. We will plant and trans­plant other trees,” Bhide said. He said the con­struc­tion is ex­pected to start in six months so the MMRC will in­vite

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