Updated: August 21, 2021 10:38:33 am
Referring to the recent letter by Union Minister for Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Shiv Sena workers “hampering the work” on the national highway stretches passing through Washim district, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said he will not allow anyone to come in the way of development.
Thackeray was speaking at the inauguration of the 1.6-km run of the Nagpur Metro between Sitabuldi and Kasturchand Park stations on the north-south corridor.
“I will not let anyone come in the way of development and people’s works. This was late Balasaheb Thackeray’s teaching that you have inculcated as much as I have,” Thackeray said, addressing the gathering here virtually from Mumbai.
The function was attended by Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, former chief minister and Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis, District Guardian Minister Nitin Raut and State Cabinet Minister for Urban Development and Public Works Eknath Shinde among others.
The new metro stretch consists of two stations – Zero Mile Freedom Park and Kasturchand Park. The Zero Mile station has two highlights – a 60,000-sq ft park and a 20-storey building, designed by a French architect. The metro will run at the sixth-floor level in the building that will have symbolic presentation of the Zero Mile on its facade.
Nagpur is known for having India’s Zero Mile where the British are believed to have started their trigonometric survey of India from.
The CM said the Zero Mile and the Freedom Park stations are a fitting tribute to the sacrifices made by freedom fighters. “The 20-storey station building will inspire other cities also to do something bigger in a competitive spirit. Maha Metro Chief Brijesh Dixit should also ensure that the part below should also look as good as the elevated corridor,” he added.
Gadkari praised Dixit and his team for their “excellent” work not only in the metro project, but also for several other development plans such as the under-construction “world’s tallest” fountain, several flyovers in the city and a 4,000-capacity viewers’ gallery at Nagpur’s Futala Lake.
Gadkari thanked Thackeray for supporting the metro project and assured to provide Rs 1 lakh crore for road projects in the Mumbai-Thane belt.
Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri lauded the Nagpur Metro for its several unique features like water recycling, rooftop water harvesting, 65 per cent sourcing of power from rooftop solar systems and 60 per cent of revenue earning from non-farebox sources.
“Nagpur Metro provides an ideal template for green and sustainable metro in the country,” Puri said. Fadnavis also praised the iconic Zero Mile and Freedom Park stations.
The journey of about 39-km Nagpur Metro in two stretches – east-west and north-south – began last year along with the Khapri-Sitabuldi and Sitabuldi-Lokmanya Nagar routes. With the addition of the latest 1.6-km stretch, the total length of the ongoing run has touched 26 km. Of total 38 metro stations, 24 have become operational so far.
Inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 21, 2014, the work was planned to be completed by December 2020, but it was interrupted by the pandemic. Maha Metro, which is executing the project, is hopeful of completing the project by this year.
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