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Khadse, CM Fadnavis make contradictory statements on Aarey land issue

Mumbai(PTI): Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday took to Twitter to contradict a statement made by his cabinet colleague and senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse on the decision to hand over land in Aarey Colony area in Mumbai to the civic planning authority MMRDA for metro car-shed.

Revenue minister Khadse had told reporters that decision to hand over 30 hectares of land for metro phase-3 car-shed had already been taken. But soon afterwards, Fadnavis tweeted that the decision was yet to be taken and “rumours” should not be believed.

“I visited the Aarey Colony today and subsequently had a meeting with MMRDA officials. I was told there is no other place in Mumbai where a car-shed can be built,” Khadse said. “The decision to hand over 30 hectares of land to MMRDA was taken in July 2014 by the then (Congress-led) government. The current situation is there is no other land available with us to give to the MMRDA. MMRDA has taken complete responsibility to replant the trees,” he said, speaking to reporters.

However, Fadnavis later tweeted, “No decision has been taken yet on Aarey land….(committee) report is still awaited. Rumours are not to be believed”. During the budget session in March, the chief minister had announced formation of committee of experts on the issue.

The proposal to build car-shed in Aarey Colony has come under attack as the area has extensive tree cover, and the project would entail cutting down of over 2,000 trees. Shiv Sena and MNS too are opposed to the proposal. Meanwhile, Khadse on Wednesday announced the decision to hand over the Cattle Yard near Goregaon (E) railway station for BEST bus depot. A meeting in this regard was held at the Mantralaya on Tuesday.

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