Terming the axing of trees in Aarey Colony as “shameful and disgusting”, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday tweeted that the Mumbai Metro 3 officials should be posted in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to destroy terror camps rather than trees. In a series of tweets, he also said that several environmentalists and even local Shiv Sena members tried to stop the tree felling. The Yuva Sena chief went on to say that with the increased police presence and deforestation, Mumbai Metro 3 is destroying everything that India had said at the United Nations (UN). He said Shiv Sena leaders Sheetal Mhatre, Shubha Raul and MLA Sunil Prabhu have been standing up in support of the citizens. “Wonder why Mumbai Metro is treating Mumbaikars like criminals and not listening to their sensible demand of sustainable development,” Mr. Thackeray said. The Central government ministry of climate change doesn’t need to exist or speak about plastic pollution, when Mumbai Metro 3 is senselessly destroying Aarey, Mumbai’s green lung, he added. “This ego battle taken up by Metro 3 is destroying the purpose of making it,” the 29-year-old leader, who is contesting the Assembly election from Worli constituency in Mumbai, said. “The vigour with which the Mumbai Metro 3 is slyly and swiftly cutting down an ecosystem in Aarey is shameful and disgusting. How about posting these officials in POK giving them charge to destroy terror camps rather than trees,” Mr. Thackeray tweeted. “A project that should be executed with pride, the Metro 3, Mumbai Metro 3 had to do it in the cover of the night, with shame, slyness and heavy cop cover. The project supposed to get Mumbai clean air, is hacking a forest with a leopard, rusty spotted cat and more,” he said in another tweet. The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) started cutting trees from Friday evening to make way for its car shed, hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and activists challenging the decision to allow felling of trees in the prime green lung of the city.
Democratic leaders on Wednesday slammed the Republicans’ opening offer for a fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill over more than 30 “poison pill” add-ons covering policy issues including the environment, financial regulations and Syrian refugees.“Their offer wasn’t real. We couldn’t accept it,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee.“When you’re working on a bill that, you know, we hope can pass the House and the Senate, you don’t send over an offer … that’s going nowhere,” Lowey said, reported the Hill.On Wednesday night, Democrats said they intended to respond to the GOP with a counteroffer shortly. The back-and-forth comes as lawmakers are trying to strike a deal over a $1.1 trillion spending package before the current continuing resolution expires Dec. 11. Even though topline spending levels were agreed to in October’s two-year budget deal, Congress still needs to come to terms over 12 separate spending titles, including any language affecting federal policy.The Republican’s initial offer, however, did not touch most of the thousands of smaller, line-by-line agreements on funding levels and bill language struck by appropriations staff in recent weeks, reported CQ.The process is typical of high-level discussions conducted under a looming deadline, although the negotiations usually take place hidden from public view. In fact, Democrats said they will not be releasing any details on their response.Examples of provisions rejected by the Democrats include one scaling back Wall Street reforms and another adding hurdles to the screening process for refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq, according to the Hill.White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest echoed the concerns of congressional Democrats about the objectionable riders, and said Republicans are “whistling past the graveyard of a government shutdown.” Earnest specifically pointed to Republican language on financial and environmental regulations, reported CQ. Dan Cohen AUTHOR