Won’t give an inch in South Mumbai for Navy housing, ‘go to the Pakistan border’, says Nitin Gadkari

Gadkari's public displeasure comes in the backdrop of the Navy declining permission for building a floating jetty at Malabar Hill in south Mumbai, where a floating hotel and seaplane service are planned.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: January 12, 2018 7:19 am
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari (Express File Photo)

REACTING SHARPLY to the Navy’s objections over the construction of a floating jetty at Malabar Hill in south Mumbai, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said Thursday that he will “never give an inch” of land to the force in the area, and asked Naval officials to “go to the Pakistan border”.

Speaking at an event in Mumbai, in the presence of Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Commander-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Gadkari said, “When they come to me asking for land in south Mumbai, I will never give an inch. Everyone wants to have houses and quarters in south Mumbai. Why should they live in south Mumbai? Why can’t they go to the Pakistan border, which they patrol?”

Gadkari was referring to the Navy asking the Mumbai Port Trust for land in south Mumbai for operations and housing its staff. Vice Admiral Luthra had written to the port trust on this issue in December 2016.

Gadkari also urged the Maharashtra government to bring projects to the central government instead of waiting for clearance from the defence ministry. “We are the government, bring the projects to us,” he said, while speaking at the event for laying the foundation stone for an international cruise terminal in Mumbai port.

Nitin Gadkari, Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Thursday. (Express Photo: Prashant Nadkar)

This week, the Bombay High Court denied clearance for the construction of a floating hotel and jetty at Nariman Point, dismissing a petition filed by the developer, Rashmi Development Pvt Ltd. The firm had challenged the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s denial of permission with the Navy stating that safety and security issues need to be considered before giving its go-ahead.

“The floating jetty in Malabar Hill has been stalled by the Navy. There is no Navy in Malabar Hill, so they had no right to deny permission. Their job is only to protect our borders from terrorists,” said Gadkari.

Gadkari also accused the National Green Tribunal and environmental activists for stalling key infrastructure projects in the city. “Environmentalists are a microscopic minority in Mumbai. They tried to stop the Bandra-Worli sea Link when I was a minister here,” he claimed.

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  1. Milan Sha
    Jan 17, 2018 at 6:01 pm
    dont blame navy for 26/11 they r NOT ur servants .. they are NOT police .. NAvy n army Af is mobilised for military action upon civilian govt approval ...Gadkari should not have said such nonsensical things to Navy ..wes should help navy to colonise ... he is not doing any favour ....govt should give the land to navy as n when needed ..such statements r demoralising to our armed forces n never to made in public .....he is existing his fat due to armed forces not due to his whims ...modi shud kick him out ...or people will..
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    1. Mohammad Farook Kasam Ghadyali
      Jan 13, 2018 at 1:57 am
      Gadkari is talking like that south mumbai property belongs to his forefathers, our navy heroes are busy keeping our sea safe and they deserve best treatment from our government but what they get in return is all this foolish statement from chaddi gang
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      1. Sameer Vidhate
        Jan 12, 2018 at 11:38 pm
        What rubbish?? Media connecting two different statements...he said no space for colony...but officers can stay.. he also said y Navy want South Mumbai space not other place..Mavy not givin permission for hanging hotel according to security measures but y they want place for colony...
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        1. Ranjan T
          Jan 12, 2018 at 9:26 pm
          MATTER OF AN INCH   LT COL NOEL ELLIS (RETD)   These days I avoid commenting on the state of political affairs. However, when people get loggerheads with national security, I can’t resist keying a few words. Today, I would like to deal with a politician who rubbed the Indian Navy on the wrong side for not granting permission for a floating jetty to be constructed in the Malabar hills of Mumbai. Well Sir, the least I can say is little knowledge is dangerous. If another 26/11 happens, the same politicians will not only run to the Navy but also provide a mile of land to establish a security hub where they refuse to give an inch today. Be that as it may, you call Colaba area posh. Rightly so, it is the inhabitants and the culture of the citizens staying in that area that make it posh and Navy is definitely one of them. Real estate prices are not the only indicator for the poshness of a place. It is the environment, the facilities and national assets that make it so.
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          1. Sameer Vidhate
            Jan 12, 2018 at 11:41 pm
            Media connecting two different statements...he said no space for colony...but officers can stay.. he also said y Navy want South Mumbai space not other place..Mavy not givin permission for hanging hotel according to security measures but y they want place for colony...
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          2. Niranjan Waichal
            Jan 12, 2018 at 9:08 pm
            Dear Mr Minister Nitin Gadkari, If the soldiers are meant for protecting borders and should stay only at the borders, parliamentarians can stay in parliament and ministers in ministries, why provide for houses for anyone, we expect that you will consider vacating your house and as a minister of road transport, would like to stay on the road now. If you want soldiers to stay on the borders, because they are meant for borders, you can stay on the road as Road Tpt Minister.
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