- MMRC is going to build a Metro car shed
- It is estimated that 3310 trees will have to be cut to build the car depot
- The estimated costs of the 3310 trees is Rs.742 crore
Mumbai, June 30, 2017: A Metro car shed is to be built at Aarey in the financial capital of the nation and it is estimated that 3310 tress will have to be cut to achieve the objective.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has signed contract with the Delhi-based construction company Sam (India) Builtwell Pvt. Ltd. to build a car depot which will be designed for 35 rakes of eight-car trains across 25 hectares.
The total cost of construction is expected to be Rs. 328 crores but the number will take a huge hike when the total cost of 3310 trees that will be cut to complete the project is added to it.
Earlier the forest minister had tweeted that the ‘socio-economic’ value of a tree is Rs23.72 lakh a year. Taking that as the base, the tree conservationists in Mumbai have estimated the cost of these 3310 trees to be a huge Rs. 742 crore, almost double of the construction cost.
“If we go by the average that a healthy tree can provide oxygen for 30 years, the loss would escalate to Rs22,000 crore. The estimated cost of Metro-3 is Rs23,136 crore. So there is no benefit,” said Stalin D from Vanashakti.
He added, “Additionally, the MMRC has not submitted the details regarding permissions for work at the 3-hectare casting yard land or any other permissions from the state pollution board, civic body, land-use, among others.”
Sudhir Mungantiwar, a BJP leader, tweeted on thursday, “Humans fail to recognise the value of trees. Trees absorb, block noise and reduce glare from the sun. A well placed tree can reduce noise by 40%. We have asked MMRC to plant 100 times more trees than the trees they have cut.”
Vanashakti, an environmental NGO has accused that the MMRC has gone ahead with the work at Aarey without waiting for a final order from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) where the matter is still being heard.
Last year, Vanashakti had filed a petition along with Aarey Conservation Group to consider Aarey landscape as a forest and maintain it as no-development zone whose hearing will be held on July 24.
According to the activists, Aarey is a real-estate gold mine. Zoru Bathena, Khar resident and activist said, ”it is clearly a real estate project for the authorities. They are getting Rs13,000 crore as 50-year interest loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The amount will ultimately have to be paid by citizens.”
MMRC is refusing any loss of trees or their value. They also made it clear that they are not bound by NGT to start the construction of the depot. “There is no stay on Metro depot construction activity from NGT,” said an MMRC spokesperson.
– by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6