THE STATE government has decided to shut down the Mumbai Transformation Support Unit (MTSU), a government think-tank, which was set up in 2005 to advise and monitor infrastructure projects in Mumbai. A government circular issued on Tuesday said that the MTSU would officially stand closed by August 31.
The government’s contention is that the Chief Minister’s War Room is already monitoring big ticket infrastructure projects in Mumbai and there is no need for another agency to do the same work.
The War Room, which was set up soon after the Devendra Fadanvis government came to power, has been tasked to monitor major projects and ensure that they do not get stuck.
The Mumbai Transformation Support Unit was set up in 2005 to aid in the process of transforming the Mumbai Metropolitan Region by advising on and coordinating projects undertaken by the government infrastructure agencies, such as the city’s development authority, civic body and the housing authority.
It was set up in association with the All India Institute of Local Self Governance (AIILSG), the state government and global organisations such as World Bank, Cities Alliance and USAID (United States Agency for International Development). The World Bank has funded some of the studies taken up by MTSU.
The Mumbai Transformation Support Unit has largely focused on issues concerning physical and social infrastructure, environment, housing, governance, strategic planning and economic growth.
Apart from coordinating and advising on projects, it has conducted extensive research on topics such as cluster redevelopment, large revamp projects such as Dharavi and BDD chawls, amendments to the Rent Control Act, traffic improvement around station areas, infrastructure projects such as Navi Mumbai airport, Mumbai Metro and so on. It was being led by retired IAS officer B C Khatua, who had two urban planners working with him.