August 27, 2014 1:51:52 am
After friction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan over the past few days, the Centre and the state tried to mend fences on Tuesday with both sides calling for better coordination by keeping politics aside for furthering infrastructure development.
Sharing the stage with the CM at a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro, Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu said, “Politics should be limited to elections. Union and state governments should work together. We should send out a strong message.”
Naidu accepted the state government’s invitation to attend the bhoomipujan for the city’s first fully-underground Metro late last week, when he was in Mumbai to interact with MPs and senior bureaucrats. This was just a day after the CM boycotted a public event with Modi at Nagpur after he was booed at a public function in Solapur in the PM’s presence.
Chavan said, “I want to thank the minister for accepting the invitation and changing his schedule at the last minute. This should continue and there should be better coordination between the Union and state governments in order to bring about development in the state. There are projects like the coastal road and the Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial that are pending with the environment ministry for clearance. These should be expedited”.
He added that there were several projects in the offing such as the Sewri-Nhava Sheva trans-harbour link, underground Charkop-Dahisar Metro, another from Wadala to Thane, a Worli-Sewri connector and an elevated road from Bandra Kurla Complex to Eastern Express Highway.
“We will need the Union government’s help for several projects. We will need to form new laws and new joint venture companies,” the chief minister said.
While Naidu suggested that there should be a Metro rail ring route around Mumbai, Chavan said the coastal road had been designed for a similar purpose and requested the Union government’s assistance to make it functional at the earliest.
Days before the election code of conduct will set in, Chavan, in probably one of his last efforts to flash the Mumbai infrastructure development card in the run-up to the Assembly elections, laid the foundation stone for the Rs 23,126-crore Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro.
The bhoomipujan of the Metro, touted to be the longest fully-underground Metro in India, was the CM’s seventh public event related to the city’s infrastructure development in the past 15 months.
“Work has started on the country’s longest underground Metro rail corridor and one of the most expensive projects,” Chavan said, even as the tendering process for the 33.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro is under way and the contract is yet to be finalised.
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