The tussle between the Uddhav Thackery-led Maharashtra government and the BJP-led Centre over the site of a Metro car-shed has intensified. The government's Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) issued a letter to the state asking it to restrain the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) from beginning work at the Kanjur Marg location.
The letter addressed to Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar says that the land belongs to the Government of India and will be "against the interest of GOI".
"The improper and unilateral action of the Collector, MSD, and MMRDA has caused severe loss to the DPIIT, Government of India. I would request you to direct the Collector to withdraw the orders passed in this regard in order to protect the interests of the Government of India," the letter further states.
Referring to the letter, state Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray said that the central government wanted to stop development in states that are not governed by BJP anymore.
"Kanjur Marg land was, in fact, the ideal place proposed for Metro Car Depot during the BJP led govt," Thackeray tweeted. "The...land allotted by the Collector to MMRDA for Car depot of Metro has always been with government of Maharashtra as per revenue records. The Collector, Mumbai Suburban, has done the due diligence of all land records and all sub-judice matters in all competent courts."
He also insisted that the MMRDA will continue its work for the Metro joint Car Depots at Kanjur Marg as planned earlier.
Nationalist Congress Party leader and cabinet minister Nawab Malik, said that this was "a conspiracy" by the BJP-led Centre to stop the Metro car-shed work. "Earlier BJP said this was private land. Now they are saying this is GOI land...Metro car-shed will be made on the same plot and we will submit all the documents and reply to the letter of DPITT," Malik said.
Early in October, the chief minister had announced that the metro car-shed would be shifted from the Aarey plot to Kanjur Marg, which belongs to the state government, at zero cost.
Reacting to the decision, the former CM Devendra Fadnavis said that the decision was taken only to satisfy someone's ego which will increase the cost of the project by at least ₹4,000 crores. "Unfortunate decision to shift Metro Car Shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg and that too just to satisfy the ego. This decision will increase the cost of the project by at least ₹4,000 crores and this cost escalation is assessed by the committee appointed by this Government," Fadnavis tweeted. "Why such a huge burden just to satisfy someone's ego? Whom does the government want to suffer and for what?" he asked.