Around 800 acres of land in Aarey has been declared a reserve forest.
The metro car shed project had invited intense backlash from environmental activists last year when the then-BJP-ruled Maharashtra government had planned to chop 2,700 trees.
Thackeray announced Sunday, "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 a natural forest cover."
Further, he announced that there will be no escalation in costs due to the relocation since the government already owned the land in Kanjurmarg.
The building already constructed in Aarey will be used for another public purpose, Thackeray said. He also directed the withdrawal of all police cases filed against people who were arrested while protesting against the cutting down of trees in Aarey.
Aarey Saved!— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 11, 2020
A huge controversy had erupted last year with the Maharashtra government ordering the felling of trees in Aarey, a vast area of diverse flora and fauna.
In October last year, the Bombay High Court had refused to declare Aarey a forest and quash the Mumbai civic body's decision to allow the cutting of trees.
Authorities then hurriedly cut trees in the dead of night.
The BJP government in Maharashtra was ousted from office in November.
The BJP's former ally, the Shiv Sena, had then joined hands with the Indian National Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
The Thackeray-led MVA government had then ordered a stay on construction of the car shed on the land that had already been cleared.
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