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Aditya Thackeray defends Shiv Sena's stand on Aarey, blames BJP for chopping trees


MUMBAI: Shiv Sena scion Aditya Thackeray, who released a letter appealing voters of Worli on Thursday, has blamed the BJP, state government and the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) for chopping down trees at Aarey. Shiv Sena and BMC have never changed their stand over the issue, it has always remained pro-green, he said.

"The Shiv Sena is the only party that opposed the Metro depot outright. The party rejected a change of use proposal in the Development Plan 2034 and then in the Improvement Committee too. The state government drove the change of land use into the DP 2034 when the decision was with the Urban Development ministry which is not with the Shiv Sena. So it isn’t the BMC that is cutting the trees, it’s the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited or MMRCL,” Aditya has said in his blog while dealing with allegations levelled against the Shiv Sena over the Aarey Metro depot controversy.

As the Shiv Sena controlled the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the proposal regarding cutting of around 2,700 trees got delayed by about two years. But, it got cleared as soon as the appointments of "experts" were made and the majority tilted towards “yes to cut” group, he said.

"For three years, the Shiv Sena rejected these proposals with a majority of its 6 members. On this particular vote, hurriedly taken without much debate, only Shiv Sena’s six members voted against the proposal. The NCP’s lone member voted to support the proposal to cut trees, with three of the five experts and four BJP members," Aditya said while blaming the BJP and the bureaucratic nature of the committee.

While replying to allegations that the Shiv Sena held the environment department all these five years, Aditya said, "None of the permissions for the MMRCL project came from the state environment department. They all came from the centre".