After campaigning against the felling of trees in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony months ago, Shiv Sena has reportedly sanctioned the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to chop down 1000 trees for a Bal Thackeray memorial. 

Mumbai Mirror

According to Mumbai Mirror Uddhav Thackeray’s party, that recently stalled the Aarey-shed project after coming to power, has been controlling the AMC for the past 25 years. 

This news compelled Amruta Fadnavis, former CM Fadnavis’ wife, to call Shiv Sena a hypocrite party. 

The AMC, dominated by Sena bigwigs, plans to build a massive memorial for Thackeray at Aurangabad’s Priyadarshini Park comprising an amphitheatre, a museum and a food court. 

It will be spread over 3 acres and will apparently cost ₹61 crore to build.  

Free Press Journal

Speaking on behalf of the petitioners who filed a PIL against the felling of trees in Aurangabad, lawyer Sunny Khinwsara said: 

As per AMC’s own project report there is a need to cut at least 1000 trees. However, AMC’s affidavit in court is silent on the number of trees needed to be cut for the project. It just says ‘minimum number’ of trees will be cut. 

Claiming that the AMC willfully do not hold possession of the land, he continued: 

In our counter-affidavit we have pointed out that the land doesn’t belong to AMC. It has been taken on lease from City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) and the least conditions clearly state that AMC will maintain a public garden there. 
The Print

Aurangabad mayor Nandkumar Ghodele ensured the public that no trees will be affected or chopped down for the project and said: 

We will ensure no trees are cut while building the memorial and will abide by the directions given by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ji. 

Despite the mayor’s assurance, netizens were upset with Shiv Sena and took to Twitter to express their anger. 

Sadly the condition of the park has deteriorated since it was taken over by AMC from CIDCO in 2016. 

More than 1200 trees have either been cut or dried up.