Metro car shed at Aarey could drown Mumbai?

Mumbai - 'The proposed Metro 3 car shed in the Aarey Colony could pose a big environmental threat to the city if built.

Rainwater could flood the Mithi river, in turn flooding the Chakala and Mumbai international airport areas, threatening to inundate the city' - this is the claim of environmental experts who were part of an expert committee set up by the government to study the feasibility of the Aarey car shed. The two members of the committee have opposed the setting up of the Aarey car shed. This information has come to light following a Right To Information petition filed by RTI activist Jhoru Bothana.

The Metro 3 project envisages cutting down an estimated 5011 trees in the city, out of which an approximate 2000 are in the Aarey area itself. This is likely to have a huge adverse environmental impact. The expert committee has recommended alternative sites for the proposed car shed for the Metro 3 project. However, it appears the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRC) and the state government are in a hurry to get the project off the ground. Bothana has alleged that it is due to this that the state has turned a blind eye to the expert committee's report and recommendations.

MMRC executive director Ashwini Bhide, however, told Mumbai Live that a majority of the expert committee's members have seconded the setting up of a car shed at Aarey, and that the state government has taken the decision after weighing all the pros and cons. Mumbai Live learns that the other committee members are government employees and are unlikely to have expressed an independent opinion. Bothana, who questions the need for an independent expert committee comprising environment experts, is now planning to take legal recourse. If the case indeed goes to the courts, the Aarey car shed proposal would definitely be in for the long haul.

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