Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday said that it was unfortunate that the Bombay High Court has ordered a stay on the construction of a metro car shed in Mumbai’s Kanjurmarg area, reported PTI.
“No politician is going to construct his/her bungalow or farmhouse at the Kanjurmarg land,” Raut said. “This is a matter of development of Mumbai, Maharashtra and eventually of the country. It is unfortunate if such a decision has come in this case.”
The High Court had on Wednesday put a stay on an order granting possession of land in the Kanjurmarg area to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority for the metro rail project. It had also asked the development authority body to maintain status quo on the land till the Centre’s plea claiming title rights over the property was heard.
On Thursday, Raut accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of putting hurdles in the development of the state as it is not in power in Maharashtra. He pointed out that the previous Devendra Fadnavis-led government in the state was going to construct a housing project for the police and weaker sections of the society on the Kanjurmarg site.
“That means the land belongs to the [state] government, isnt it?” the Shiv Sena MP asked. “...but what has happened suddenly, it seems there is some conspiracy to see that the Maharashtra government is not allowed to carry out work in the interest of the people or development.” He claimed that people are doubting if the decision to stop the construction work came because there was no BJP government in the state.
The Shiv Sena leader also hit out at BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis for his comments that the state government should give up its “ego”.
“Where is ego if the Aarey forest and animals there are saved by shifting the car shed project to Kanjurmarg?” Raut asked. “It [to save the forest and wildlife] is a national duty. It is the programme of the Centre to save tigers, jungle, birds and rivers. It is the programme of the Centre, of the Narendra Modi government.”
One of the first decisions taken by Thackeray, after being sworn in as head of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government last year, was to stop work on the Aarey car shed. The Fadnavis-led BJP government had faced flak for the construction the shed in Aarey from concerned citizens, who wanted to protect Mumbai’s last green lung from concretisation.
On October 11, Thackeray had announced that 800 acres of land in the Aarey Milk Colony in Mumbai would be declared a reserve forest and that the car shed for the metro project in the area would be relocated to Kanjurmarg.
Following this, the Centre’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade had written to the Maharashtra government in November, instructing it to stop developing the car shed. The letter stated that the 102-acre land at Kanjurmarg was under the salt commissioner, who reports to the department.