The Maharashtra government has decided to surrender about 8,000 sq m of green land in Aarey for the Metro-7 project and the Urban Development Department (UDD) has handed over the land to state revenue department.
Senior officials said the land will be used for constructing a steelyard, machine and labour camp by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC).
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had earlier restricted the state government from any construction in the forest. But the state government turned successful in convincing the NGT that the proposed Metro-7 project is much important for the public.
The state government in its report stated that the Aarey land is nowhere in records mentioned that it is a core green forest land, the land is developed for grazing of cattle.
“The state government is acting within the decision of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and has surrendered the land in Goregaon from one department to another.” said a government official.
The Aarey conservation group which was continuously protesting against the Metro workshop to be built in the Aarey land has stated that the state government has violated laws and directives by the Court.
The group even blamed that the state government have cut the trees without an permission, it managed the police and CEO of Aarey.
The Metro-7 route extends from Dahisar East to Andheri East at a length of 16.5 km, and estimated cost of the entire project is about Rs. 4,737 crore.
Many NGO’s tried to save the Aarey forest land, but the state government handing over the land to the Revenue department just shuts their way to conserve the Aarey forest.