New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thakeray on Sunday announced that the Aarey metro car shed has been relocated and the project will now come up at Kanjurmarg area in Mumbai. The 800-acre controversial land where protestors have been raging for over a year has officially been declared a reserve forest, while any cases against the agitators have been withdrawn.Also Read - No Firecrackers, Only Diyas: Maharashtra Govt Urges All To Celebrate Diwali By Lighting Lamps; Issues Guidelines

“This uncertainty over the car shed is over now. Biodiversity in Aarey needs to be protected. There is an 800-acre jungle in an urban set-up… Mumbai has natural forest cover,” CM Thackeray said addressing a webcast, adding that the building which was constructed will be utilised for a different purpose. Also Read - International Flights: Air India Announces Fresh Flight Schedule Between India and Thailand | Here’s How to Book Tickets

The Maharashtra CM noted that the government had earlier declared 600 acres of Aarey land as forest but now it has been revised to 800 acres. There will be no infringement on rights of tribals in the Aarey forest, he added. Also Read - Will Sameer Wankhede be Removed From Aryan Khan Drug Case? NCB DG Says Depends on Solid Evidence

“Biodiversity in Aarey needs to be conserved and protected. Nowhere is there an 800-acre jungle in an urban setup. Mumbai has a natural forest cover,” he said.

Thackeray also said that no cost will be incurred for the purpose and the land “will be available at zero-rate”.

“About Rs 100 crore expenditure was incurred for the purpose and it won’t go waste,” he said.

The move to relocate the car shed from Aarey came amid reports that the state government was considering if two of the upcoming Metro lines could share maintenance facility.

It had appointed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to prepare a feasibility study on Metro 3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) sharing its car shed with Line 6 (Vikhroli-Lokhandwala).

There were also reports that Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd officials had expressed apprehension that the Metro Line 3 project may be delayed by three years and its cost may go up by over Rs 2,000 crore if the car shed for the line was shifted from Aarey Colony.

Devendra Fadnavis, former chief minister and Opposition leader, recently said the state governments plan to relocate Metro 3 car shed from Aarey was a reflection of wrong policy.