Even as he ardently supported the controversial Lavasa lake city project that was red-flagged by green activists and social groups, NCP President, Sharad Pawar, has said the media should not give publicity to “elements who obstructed development”.
Claiming he had identified as many as 26 sites near unpopulated water bodies in Maharashtra during a chopper flight over the Sahyadri ranges that can be developed on the lines of English tourist towns similar to Lavasa, he regretted the hill station township near here had run into rough weather due to a negative campaign by certain elements.
The private hill city, promoted by Hindustan Constructions Company, had been facing charges of land grab and violation of green norms, and came under court scrutiny. “Today the Lavasa township has become a tourist attraction which is being visited by about 10,000 people over weekends. There are 26 sites near unpopulated water bodies in the State that can be developed on the lines of English tourist towns”, the former Union Agriculture Minister said.
He was speaking at a gathering of industrialists during a function held here last night to mark 80th anniversary of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA). “The media should not give publicity to elements opposed to development and highlight their activities”, he said, adding people need to change their mindset and welcome new concepts of development.
The NCP leader described Maharashtra as “a true model of development”. In a reference to the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government, Pawar said his pictures were flashed by media whenever there was rise in food prices but the face of current Union Agriculture Minister was not visible despite the increase in onion rates.