The Election Commission of India is expected to announce the dates ‘any moment’ for the Maharashtra assembly elections, due in October, but the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena are still procrastinating on their seat-sharing formula. The coalition partners are currently on a collision course over a contentious environment-vs-development issue, which has rocked Mumbai. CM Devendra Fadnavis has been advocating the felling of 2,703 trees at Aarey Colony in Goregaon to facilitate the construction of a metro car shed by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) on time, but Sena chief Udhav Thackeray says his party will not allow it.
The ambitious project has been embroiled in a big controversy, triggering vociferous protests by environmentalists, social activists and other civil society members. Udhav has warned that the metro car shed will meet the fate of the proposed Rs 3-lakh Nanar refinery project in the Konkan region, which had to be aborted before the Lok Sabha elections following protests by local farmers.