'Destroy Terror Camps in PoK Instead': Aaditya Thackeray Slams Move to Cut Aarey Trees; 'Double Standard', Says Cong
Aaditya Thackeray has time and again brought up the issue of Maharashtra government's decision to clear trees in the Aarey Colony of Mumbai for metro construction.
File photo of Aaditya Thackeray.
Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader and debutant politician Aaditya Thackeray on Friday slammed Mumbai Metro authorities and came out in support of activists protesting against the cutting down of trees in Aarey Colony in Mumbai.
Thackeray took to Twitter to condemn the Mumbai Metro's act, calling it "shameful and disgusting". He made a proposition that the officials involved should be in PoK and destroy terror camps instead of trees.
The vigour with which the @MumbaiMetro3 is slyly and swiftly cutting down an ecosystem in Aarey is shameful and disgusting. How about posting these officials in PoK, giving them charge to destroy terror camps rather than trees?— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 4, 2019
In another tweet he said the incident stood against the claims made by India at the UN.
Many environmentalists and even many local Shiv Sena members from the vicinity have tried stopping this. More so the increased police presence and the way this deforestation is happening, @MumbaiMetro3 is destroying everything India said at the UN @UNEnvironment @UN— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 4, 2019
He further stated that the purpose of having a Ministry of Climate Change at the Centre was destroyed as the Metro authorities had taken up the Aarey issue as an "ego battle".
There’s no point for the Central government ministry of climate change to exist, or to speak about plastic pollution when the @MumbaiMetro3 senselessly destroys the Aarey vicinity. This ego battle taken up by Metro 3 is destroying the purpose of making it.— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 4, 2019
Shiv Sena's members were present at the site of the protest, in support of citizens, he said, adding that Mumbai citizens were being treated like criminals.
The @ShivSena ‘s @sheetalmhatre1 ji & Shubha Raul ji at Aarey. Even @prabhu_suneel ji has been standing up for it with the citizens. Wonder why @MumbaiMetro3 is treating Mumbaikars like criminals and not listening to sensible demand of sustainable development. https://t.co/ZdjF8ttKTk— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 4, 2019
He also stated that the Aarey forest was home to leopards, the rusty spotted cat and other animals, and condemned the "heavy cop cover" being used to lop off trees at night.
A project that should be executed with pride, the Metro 3, @MumbaiMetro3 has to do it in the cover of the night, with shame, slyness and heavy cop cover. The project supposed to get Mumbai clean air, is hacking down a forest with a leopard, rusty spotted cat and more— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 4, 2019
However, junior Thackeray's tweet reaction to the felling of trees hasn't gone well with the leaders of the Congress. Congress leader Sanjay Nirpuam accused the Shiv Sena of adopting "double standards" for condemning the cutting of trees and at the same time continuing its support to the BJP.
Saying that the state government should respect wishes of the people, Nirupam asked why the tree cutting was started at night.
"We are not against the car shed but constructing it inside the Aarey forest will be catastrophic," he said. Milind Deora, another former Congress MP from the city, said the "brutal" felling of trees was a setback for Mumbai.
"It's like repeatedly stabbing yourself in the lungs. When cities destroy coastlines and green cover, they are advancing the doomsday clock," he tweeted.
Thackeray, the Shiv Sena's candidate from Worli for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections, has won the support of a number of environmentalists across the country by firmly standing against the decision to clear trees in Aarey. The young leader has sought to alter the image of the party ahead of the polls, with focus on environmental issues, among others, taking the forefront.
Last month, he had sought transfer of the MMRCL's Managing Director Adhwini Bhide for ignoring the residents' opposition to felling of trees in the colony, also questioning the position taken by authorities that the city will not have a metro is the area was not cleared.
He had also emphasised on the need to save Aarey for the wealth of biodiversity that it is home to, as it is adjacent to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, also saying that the suggested use of Aarey as a car shed would throw it open to commercial development.
Environmentalists have opposed the decision to build a car shed at Aarey Colony for two years now. The Bombay High Court refused to act on a petition filed by them, saying the matter is pending before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal.
"The greens fail in the instant petition because they have lost touch with the procedure to be followed as per law," a bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre of the High Court said on Friday, ruling against the protesters.
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