The Maharashtra government has transferred Ashwini Bhide, the Managing Director (MD) of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) on Tuesday.
Considered to be one of the state’s most efficient IAS officers by her peers, @ashwinibhide was credited with fast-tracking the Colaba-SEEPZ Metro-3 project in Mumbai. She had faced strident opposition from environmentalists over the Metro car shed in Aarey.
— Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) January 21, 2020
Reportedly, senior IAS officer Bhide as the MD of MMRC was at the forefront of implementing the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Mumbai Metro 3 project. She was promoted earlier this month as principal secretary and her transfer was a matter of time as Sena prince Aaditya Thackeray, who is also the state environment minister and son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had publicly demanded her removal.
Ranjit Singh Deol, the current vice-chairman and managing director of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is set to replace her.
It was earlier reported that Sena prince Aaditya Thackeray was unhappy over Bhide’s insistence on Aarey Metro Car Shed Project.
The previous state government’s plan to cut about 2,700 trees in Aarey Colony in north Mumbai for car shed of the metro had green activists and citizens’ groups up in the arms including Sena Prince Aaditya Thackeray.
However, Bhide as the head of MMRCL had vociferously defended the metro project at Aarey by stating that it was impossible to shift the car shed anywhere else as suggested by Shiv Sena leader Thackeray and few other green activists.
Bhide has an active social media presence where she regularly shares the updates related to the Metro project.
Aditya Thackeray had even expressed his anger and annoyance at Bhide for her staunch support of the car shed project.
The Mumbai Metro Rail project is regarded as one of the world’s toughest development projects. Bhide had gained widespread admiration and accolades for her management of the project.
Bhide’s commitment to the ongoing metro project had won her countless fans. Her stout defence of the Metro car shed project and her logical counters to so-called environmental ‘activists’ and other opponents of the infrastructure was a sign that her days at MMRC were numbered following the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coming to power in the state.
One of the first decisions taken by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray after assuming the post of CM was to order a halt in the Aarey Metro Car Shed project.
Ever since Shiv Sena returned to power by joining hands with NCP and Congress, it has been alleged that the coalition government has been indulging in vendetta politics as it is cancelling most of the projects that were earlier initiated by the previous Devendra Fadanvis government.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi seems hell-bent on blocking funds and halting major infrastructure and development projects undertaken by the previous government to further narrow political goals. As soon as the NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress formed the government. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had ordered a halt on the Metro Car Shed construction at Aarey and shockingly had announced that he will drop cases against the Bhima-Koregaon rioters.
Later in January, CM Thackeray had decided to block funds for ‘Jalyukt Shivar’’ a major developmental project started by the Devendra Fadnavis government, with a target to make Maharashtra completely drought-free.