HC decision on Metro car shed work ‘unfortunate’: Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the Bombay High Court’s decision to stay construction of the Metro car shed in Kanjurmarg here is “unfortunate”, and that the project is a matter of development of Mumbai and Maharashtra.

Talking to reporters here, Raut launched a veiled attack on the BJP, accusing the opposition of creating hurdles in the development of Maharashtra as the party is not in power in the state, and said there was a “conspiracy” to not allow the MVA government to work in the interest of people.

He, however, said Maharashtra or its people cannot be “troubled” for long.

“No politician is going to construct his/her bungalow or farm house at the Kanjurmarg land. 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 Rajya Sabha member said.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday stayed the order passed by Mumbai suburban district collector allotting 102 acres of salt pan land in Kanjurmarg area here for the construction of an integrated metro car shed.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni also restrained the authorities from carrying out any construction work at the said land.

The Centre and the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government are locked in a tussle over ownership of the land earmarked by the state for constructing the car shed depot which was earlier planned at Aarey Colony, a green belt in suburban Goregaon.

The previous BJP-led government in the state had decided to construct the car shed for the Mumbai Metro line 3 at Aarey Colony, despite opposition from environmentalists and activists to the vast tree-cutting for the project.

The present Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government — comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — recently took a decision to shift the car shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg.

Raut said the previous Devendra Fadnavis government in the state was to construct a housing project for police and weaker sections on the Kanjurmarg site concerned.

“That means the land belongs to the (state) government, isnt it?” he 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,” the Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson said.

He said there are lakhs of other cases to which the judiciary should pay its attention.

Referring to reports of a Sikh preacher committing suicide (in connection with farmers’ agitation), Raut said the Centre and judiciary should look into such matters.

“People now have doubts in their minds whether such decisions (on car shed project) are coming because there is no BJP government in Maharashtra,” he alleged.

After the HC’s decision, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday asked the state government to give up its “ego”.

When asked about it, Raut quipped that the definition of “ego” needs to be checked now.

Where is ego if the Aarey forest and animals there are saved by shifting the car shed project to Kanjurmarg? the Shiv Sena leader 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,” he said.

Despite the efforts to save the forest, the opposition in Maharashtra is “creating hurdles” in the work, which is not in the interest of Maharashtra and the people, he said.

“The court should have understood this,” Raut said.

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