Clearing the decks for long-pending mega projects in Mumbai, the union ministries concerned have given nod for the ambitious coastal road project, mid-sea Shivaji statue project and the proposed Ambedkar memorial on Indu Mills land, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis informed the state Assembly on Monday.
The bhoomipujan for the Shivaji statue project would be held on February 19, he said.
Saying that Mumbai’s makeover was integral to India’s makeover, the CM told the House that he got the Centre’s clearance for the ambitious coastal road project, which was relegated to backburner since 2011, within a month.
“It was (Prithviraj) Chavan’s dream project. But it remained on paper since 2011 since state government did not pursue it with the Centre,” Fadnavis said.
“On the proposed Ambedkar memorial on Indu Mills land, there were very preliminary queries from the Centre, which remained unanswered by the previous state government, thus delaying the entire process. It took us less than a month to get the clearances for these projects, all of which would be fast-tracked. At Indu Mills, there is no ambiguity that the land would be used for a magnificent memorial of B R Ambedkar. I wonder why the Chavan government failed to reply to the basic queries from the Centre,” Fadnavis said.
The chief minister, who drew flak from senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal for suggesting a PM-committee for Mumbai projects, said, “I would like to state that nobody’s honourable father can take Mumbai away from Maharashtra. Mumbai was, is and will remain an integral part of Maharashtra.”
“When we talk of ease in governance, international investors have always considered World Bank’s index for Mumbai and Delhi. The manner in which these cities are governed, progress of projects, the time factor, all are considered…” he said.
“It is not just a case of Mumbai in isolation. Its ramifications are for the entire Maharashtra and India. My object of having a PM-led committee is to fast-track Mumbai’s development. What mistake have I committed?” the CM said.
As Fadnavis spoke about Chavan’s alleged failure to get Mumbai projects on the fast-track, Bhujbal and Ajit Pawar were seen thumping the desk in approval. Even senior Congress leader and former minister Patangrao Kadam was seen giving his nod.
At least once, Chavan intervened to explain how the state had been pursuing Mumbai’s projects regularly with Centre, but did not insist after a point.
“I don’t deny that Chavan had made a lot of efforts on several projects. But my government is taking them to the logical end,” Fadnavis said.
While reiterating his commitment for phase-III of Mumbai’s Metro project, the CM urged leaders of all political parties to join hands and support the proposed Metro project in Pune, which he said was going to emerge as the country’s second-most important IT hub after Bangalore.