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While addressing a press conference, Mr. Thackeray said that he has given orders to stop work on Aarey car shed. He stated that while he has not ordered work on the Metro project itself to stop, he won’t allow trees in Aarey to be killed.
“Not even one tree leaf will be cut as long as I am the CM,” Mr. Thackeray declared.
The Bombay High Court had on October 4 refused to declare Aarey Colony a forest and declined to quash the Mumbai municipal corporation’s decision to allow felling of over 2,600 trees in the green zone to set up a metro car shed. The MMRC began felling trees in the area on the same day that the judgement was pronounced.
The Supreme Court had earlier ordered a stay against the tree-felling in Aarey, which is still continuing.
On October 6, in the midst of the tussle between environmentalists and Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation over the latter beginning to cut trees for the project, Thackeray had shown vocal support to the activists and promised to take action against those responsible for the tree-cutting if voted to power in the elections. This was of course ironic given how the municipality was under his party’s control! But now that he is CM, he was forced to walk the talk.
A large number of protestors attended Mr. Thackeray’s oath-taking ceremony in the hope that the new Maharashtra Chief would declare Aarey as a forest. At today’s conference, Thackeray noted that the incident of cutting trees overnight is unacceptable
Earlier today, in its mouthpiece “Saamna,” the Shiv Sena said that Prime Minister Modi and Uddhav Thackeray share brotherly ties and that it is Modi’s responsibility to co-operate with his “younger brother” who has taken charge of the state.
Thackeray noted that he is the first Chief Minister of the state that was born in Mumbai. “It is going on in my mind, what I can do for this city,” he said.