CHIEF MINISTER Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday took a dig at the former Congress-NCP government for keeping key infrastructure projects like coastal road, Metro and Mumbai Trans Harbour Line (MTHL) pending for over a decade.
The CM was speaking at the ‘Mumbai 2.0’ conference organised by the state government in collaboration with Project Mumbai organisation to discuss Mumbai’s infrastructure and its future.
“None of the projects — be it Metro line, coastal road, Navi Mumbai airport and MTHL were planned by my government. They were conceived 20 to 25 years ago, but our government is implementing them. I had read about the MTHL project in the newspapers in 2003 and I was amazed. All these projects should have been started long ago. Due to the delay, the cost of the projects have increased in crores,” said Fadnavis.
Sounding the poll bugle for the 2019 elections, Fadnavis listed the key infrastructure projects completed by his government. “I am from Nagpur, but if people like my work, they will call me again,” he said.
Taking a dig at the former Congress-NCP government, he said: “The first Metro line, a 10 km stretch, took 10 years to be completed. We have approved 275 km of Metro line for the entire MMR region in less than four years and have already begun construction on three Metro lines in the city.”
The conference was attended by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, investors, industrialists, bankers, former badminton player Pullela Gopichand, actor Shah Rukh Khan, members from the entertainment industry and government officials.
The attendees discussed issues, including traffic woes, lack of feasible environment for start-ups, ease of doing business, pedestrian facilities, open spaces, water transport and better roads.
On the demand for a unified authority or a CEO for Mumbai, Fadnavis, while agreeing that a “CEO for Mumbai” is a good idea, said that it is nonviable in a democratic set-up and will be autocratic.
On Shah Rukh Khan’s question regarding developing and giving push to visual effect, special effect and animation industry in the city, Fadnavis said: “We have expanded the definition of IT and included its off shore industries into the policy.”