Green Brigade Wins Battle against Mumbai Metro Shed in Aarey
21st September 2020
After a seven-year fight with green activists, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ended the construction of the rail car depot in Aarey, a densely forested area in the western suburbs of Mumbai.
Hundreds of people in Mumbai had been conducting demonstrations for months against the cutting of over 2,700 trees in the Aarey Colony on the new Metro Line-6. "It is stated that the MMRDA has planned casting yards for Line 6 at Wadala and other sites of existing yards, and there is no plan for casting yards in Aarey," read the statement by Dilip Kawathkar, Joint Projects Director, MMRDA, as reported by The Logical Indian.
The recent halt in construction has given rise to cheers among protestors who opposed the proposal as they feared that much of the vast treasured forested area would be destroyed.
The depot is part of the 20-mile underground railway — Mumbai Metro Line-3—which will connect the southern tip of the city to its western suburbs. The line was scheduled to be opened in December 2021. However, the pandemic has affected the progress in construction, and possibly the completion date. The corridor is expected to run along the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ and will have twenty-six subway stations. Aarey — the twenty-seventh station — was marked as a parking depot and a metro rake operation.
In view of the halt, alternative arrangements at Wadala, measuring 1,500 square metres along JVLR, will be used as a project yard. The uncompleted Metro Line-6 stretches 14.5 km between Swami Samarth Nagar in Oshiwara and Vikhroli and is estimated to cost Rs 6.716 crores, as reported by The Hindu.
Although the announcement is being viewed as a response to people's marches and demonstrations, activists have argued that this is just a small victory. Although the plan for a casting yard could now be dropped, they say, many activists believe that other proposals aimed at opening buffer zones remain in place.
Sources: The Logical Indian, The Hindu
Edited by: Mridula Kumar