While the Congress and BJP leaders are locked in a war of words over the Kanjurmarg depot land, the MMRDA has said that the work for the depot is underway.
Work underway at site Kanjurmarg depot, says MMRDA
Mumbai is witnessing yet another round of sparring between the Congress and BJP leaders over the controversial piece of land at Kanjurmarg in suburban Mumbai. Meanwhile, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has said that the work at the designated site for the Metro car shed project has not stopped. Sharing the latest pictures of the land site, the MMRDA said, “Earthwork for the peripheral road in Kanjurmarg Depot is in progress.”
The statement came after the BJP leaders gave statements on the issue saying that a private builder in the city had staked claim over the disputed land. BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said, “With reference to the Kanjurmarg land, now a private builder, who has set claim over the land, has approached the court. He could get a stay as well. Mumbai Metro project has already been delayed by five years and will cost an additional Rs 5000 crores. We fear that this metro just might remain a dream for the people of Mumbai.”
The private builder in question has reportedly sent a notice to the Mumbai suburban collector and the MMRDA over the issue and asked the authority to stop the ongoing soil testing work at the place.
Image of construction work at Kanjurmarg depot, shared by MMRDA
Another BJP leader Ashish Shelar said that the designated place comes under controversy on a daily basis and that they have been stating from day one that there have been at least four claims over the land and that the particular land is disputed. Ashish Shelar said that the burden of delay in the car shed construction will ultimately burden the common man who will have to pay the price with a higher amount for tickets. “The state government shifted the Metro car shed project from Aarey to Kanjurmarg simply out of arrogance,” he said.
Congress leader Sachin Sawant, on the other hand, charged the BJP leaders of acting as the agents of the private builder. He stressed that the particular piece of land belonged to the state government and that the Advocate General himself had clarified that there was no dispute over the said land.
The controversy over the shift of the project land arose after the Thackeray government shifted the Metro 3 car shed project from Aarey Colony to Kanjurmarg. The Aarey land had been picked by the Devendra Fadnavis government for the development of the car shed project.
The issue is so contentious that not just the state leaders but recently even the Centre got involved. The central government’s department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) wrote a letter to Maharashtra’s chief secretary and claimed that the land in Kanjurmarg given for construction on metro car shed belongs to the salt department. The letter asked the chief secretary to take steps to stop construction at the land which it alleged was encroached. The Maharashtra government then issued a notification earmarking the land at Kanjurmarg for the Metro car shed project and allied activities.