There is good news for environmentalists and nature enthusiasts who were protesting for the protection of Aarey forests in Mumbai.
The proposed car shed in Aarey had led to a bitter row in September and October last year between environmental activists and the then BJP-ruled Maharashtra government, which wanted to cut down 2,700 trees to build the shed.
But Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thakrey said via a video message that the state government will be shifting the metro car shed project from Aarey to Kanjurmarg in Mumbai. He said the building which was built in Aarey will be used for other purposes.
The government increased the reserve area from 600 acres to 800 acres and has guaranteed the people that there will be no external interference to the wildlife and the tribal communities that live there.
“Biodiversity in Aarey needs to be conserved and protected. Nowhere is there an 800-acre jungle in an urban set up. Mumbai has a natural forest cover,” he said.
The CM also has directed to withdraw all the cases filed against the protesters. They were filed after the protesters had a tussle with the police last year.
The state health minister and son of CM Aditya Thakrey tweeted: “Aarey saved”, after the decision was taken.