Infrastructure projects worth over Rs 10,000 crore for Mumbai and Maharashtra, the progress of which had been delayed during the previous Congress-NCP regime in the state, were sanctioned and fast-tracked by the BJP-led government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday. The prime minister was speaking at Kombudbhuj near Panvel on the outskirts of Mumbai, where he laid the foundation stone for the Navi Mumbai International Airport, expected to witness its first flight operations by December 2019.
“The earlier government knew only these three words: atkana, phatkana and latkana (block, destroy and delay). For the past 20 years, we had heard many promises related to the completion of work on this airport. While many leaders, MPs and even governments were elected on such promises, no airport was developed. One should attribute this delay to the way (previous) governments functioned,” said Modi.
He added that it was in 1997, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the PM, that the need for a second airport for the financial capital was first acknowledged.
“When I became the Prime Minister of the country in 2014, I realised that not only Navi Mumbai airport, but also many other important projects in the country conceptualised 20-30 years back are still to progress. Some of these projects were inaugurated by then political leaders… but none of them became a reality,” he said, adding that he had tried to quicken the pace of completion of these projects. “Everything was on paper. But yes, there would be chants of how it was conceptualised when they were in power,” he said.
On the eve of Shivaji Jayanti Monday, the PM said in Navi Mumbai work on a grand statue in the Arabian Sea as a tribute to the king would also be completed by 2022.