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Mumbai: BJP and Shiv Sena tussle over Aarey Metro carshed on

After multiple extensions, the report is completed and is expected to be submitted to Mayor Snehal Ambekar by March 6.

Written by Arita Sarkar | Mumbai |
March 3, 2017 3:04:55 am

THE report on the draft Development Plan (DP) 2014-2034 submitted by the planning committee has become the latest bone of contention between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, with the latter opposing a Metro Rail carshed in Aarey Colony, part of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s ambitious thrust for Metro line. After multiple extensions, the report is completed and is expected to be submitted to Mayor Snehal Ambekar by March 6.

Apart from the three state government-appointed members, the committee includes Sena corporators Yashodhar Phanse and Trushna Vishwasrao who are the standing committee chairperson and leader of the house respectively, as well as BJP group leader Manoj Kotak.

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Based on suggestions and objections from citizens to the draft DP, the Sena had raised two objections, which have been included in the report.

Phanse stated that their primary objection was to cutting of trees for the carshed in Aarey. “Apart from the protests by locals who are vehemently opposing the carshed, the High Court too has ruled against cutting of trees. Aarey is known as the city’s lungs and we can’t take away the city’s open spaces,” said Phanse.

Vishwasrao added that the carshed can be constructed in a space which doesn’t have a large number of trees. Two weeks ago, the Bombay High Court issued a temporary stay on cutting of trees for all Metro projects in the city.

The Sena corporators also had a contention with the affordable housing scheme mentioned in the DP. “We have recommended that the scheme be redesigned as social housing. Unlike the original scheme, the project-affected persons in BMC projects as well as slum dwellers on BMC-owned land will be given priority and will be rehabilitated before others,” said Vishwasrao. Phanse added that the relevant department in charge of the project would bear the cost of providing accommodation. “Those who can afford will be given houses but the BMC should think about the PAPs who have nowhere to live,” he said.

Barring Kotak, the report has been signed by five members of the committee. Each member has to sign on every page of the report. Hinting that the BJP may try to hold up submission of the report, Sena leaders said they would submit the report on March 6 regardless of Kotak’s signature as majority of the members have signed.

Kotak said the report would be ready for submission by Friday.“The points they have raised are their personal complaints and I have nothing to say on them. I have not raised any objections,” he said.

The report will eventually be tabled before the new general body after the corporators are inducted on March 8 and the DP likely to be approved by March 20.

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