Even as the issue of metro car shed refuses to die down in Maharashtra, Congress and BJP locked thorns again over it on Friday. Congress published documents showing how the previous BJP government had itself finalised Kanjurmarg salt pan land to build car shed for Metro 6. The party claimed that BJP was creating a mere eyewash for the people of Mumbai in order to delay the project. Meanwhile, the BJP has thrown a challenge at environment minister Aaditya Thackeray to have an open discussion and debate over the issue.
"There is a deliberate attempt by the BJP to derail this project in order to cause inconvenience to the people of Mumbai. These documents show that the Bharatiya Janata Party has cheated the people of Maharashtra by claiming that the Metro car shed project is going to cost over Rs 5,000 crore extra if the project is moved to Kanjurmarg. The reality is, BJP government had itself cleared this patch of land for car shed of Metro 6. What we are doing is merely adding car shed for Metro 3 as well there," Congress leader Sachin Sawant told reporters in Mumbai.
He claimed that the salt pan land was cleared by none other than Chandrakant Patil, who was then a cabinet minister in the BJP government and who is the BJP state president at present.
Showing a letter of IAS officer Ashwini Bhide who headed the metro project, Sawant claimed that government excise had found the land fit for a car shed. The letter written on September 22, 2015 by Ashwini Bhide stated, "After reviewing all the lands for Metro car shed 3, we have found that the Kanjurmarg land is extremely useful. It will be impossible to implement the project without this land."
Sawant also claimed that the said plot of land belongs to Maharashtra government. To back up his statement, he produced written communication between then Mumbai suburbs collector and an IAS officer from MMRDA. "I urge you to urgently allot 100 acres of Kanjur land for temporary reasons in order to construct a casting yard for Metro 4 and 6," the letter written in 2018 stated.
Meanwhile, the BJP challenged environment minister Aaditya Thackeray for an open debate on Aarey Metro car shed. "Has the foundation laying of Rs 50,000 crore scam started on the saltpan land?" BJP MLA Ashish Shelar asked.