As it happened: PM Modi defends demonetisation at events in Mumbai and Pune | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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As it happened: PM Modi defends demonetisation at events in Mumbai and Pune

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Mumbai on Saturday for the foundation ceremony of the Shiv Smarak, a memorial in the Arabian Sea for the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji.

mumbai Updated: Dec 24, 2016 23:27 IST
HT Correspondents
PM Modi laid the foundation stone for Pune  Metro project.
PM Modi laid the foundation stone for Pune Metro project.(ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday gave the green signal to a slew of infrastructure projects in Mumbai and Pune, besides inaugurating the new campus of SEBI’s National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) during his daylong visit to Maharashtra.

Modi also laid the foundation for a Rs 3,600-crore grand memorial for Shivaji Maharaj off the Mumbai city coast, an event that comes a few months ahead of the civic polls and amid tussle among parties to claim the legacy of the 17th century warrior king.

Here are the highlights of Modi’s visit

8.20pm: After 8th November, urban local bodies have seen a rise in their income. This makes it possible to spend more resources of development: PM Modi

8.15pm: Those who governed earlier did not act (against black money) hence I had to take harsh steps, says PM Modi.

8.12pm: In this nation everybody is equal before the law and everyone has to follow the law: PM Modi

8.10pm: Parliament passed a law on benami property in 1988 but was never implemented, says PM Modi.

8.05pm: Earlier, infrastructure was only about roads, rail and airports. Now, we need to cater to people’s expectations too: PM Modi

8pm: The gains of the present are vital but we need systems that cater to the needs and aspirations of the future too, says PM Modi in Pune.

7.55pm: India is urbanising at a very quick pace & thus, its essential to work in 2 directions. It’s essential to improve quality of life in villages while we mitigate the challenges that our urban areas are facing: PM Modi

7.50pm: PM Modi lays the foundation stone for the Pune Metro project

7.30pm: We will make Pune, the start-up capital of India, says Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis

7pm: Narendra Modi arrives in Pune. NCP chief Sharad Pawar shares dais with the PM at the metro rail foundation function.

5:20pm:Modi concludes his speech at the Bandra Kurla complex and leaves for Pune.

5:19pm:This fight will continue until we win it, says PM Modi, stressing his resolve to root out graft.

5:18pm:The country is not ready to tolerate corruption anymore, says Modi.

5:17pm:This is a cleanliness campaign (demonetisation) for the betterment of the country, the PM says.

5:14pm: After 50 days, the hardship faced by the honest will start to ease. But problems faced by the dishonest will increase, says Modi.

5:11pm: There were efforts to mislead and even intimidate people but they supported us in the battle against corruption and black money, says Modi.

5:10pm: We sounded the bugle, launched a decisive fight against black money and corruption on November 8, Modi says referring to his government’s demonetisation exercise.

5:06pm: Who says India can’t change? The strength of 125 crore Indians will bring about the change. The country will advance, says Modi.

5:04pm: We have taken up the task to supply cooking gas to the poor, says Modi.

5:00pm: Development is the solution to every problem, says Modi. “Development is our focal point.”

4:58pm: Modi thanks the people of Maharashtra.

4:52pm: Modi says Shivaji’s courage is famous, talks of other aspects of his character. The PM goes on to laud Shivaji’s policies on water and currency management.

4:50pm: Shivaji Maharaj was a multifaceted personality, Modi says, adding that so many aspects of his personality inspire us.

4:46pm: Even in the midst of struggle, Shivaji Maharaj remained a torchbearer of good governance, tweets the official handle of the Prime Minister’s Office, quoting Modi.

4:44pm: In his address at Bandra Kurla Complex, PM Modi showers praises on Chhatrapati Shivaji.

4:32pm: Modi lays the foundation stone for two metro corridors and other projects at the MMRDA grounds.

3:44pm: Before that, PM Modi pays floral tributes to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue at MMRDA grounds.

3:15pm: The Prime Minister will now head for the inauguration of the Mumbai and Pune metro projects.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis (right) and Uddhav Thackeray, the leader of BJP ally Shiv Sena, in Mumbai. (Photo: PIB/Twitter)

3:10pm: PM Modi reaches land at Girgaum Chowpatty after performing rituals for the start of the Rs 3600-crore Shivaji memorial project.

3:00pm: Modi also took photographs with the crew of the hovercraft who took him out to sea.

2:57pm: Modi drops holy water and mud into the sea at the location where the Shivaji memorial will come up, 4km off Mumbai’s Marine Drive.

2:53pm: PM Modi en route to the location for the ‘bhumi puja’ in the Arabian sea on board a hovercraft.

2:41pm: PM Modi arrives at Girgaum Chowpatty for the foundation-laying ceremony.

1:20pm: PM Modi to travel to Shivaji Memorial for its foundation-laying ceremony

1:17pm: My aim is to make India a developed country in one generation, says Modi as he concludes his address at NISM.

1:15pm: Those who profit from financial markets must make a fair contribution to nation-building through taxes, he says.

1:14pm: The true measure of success (of our economy) is the impact in villages, not the impact in Dalal Street or Lutyens’ Delhi, says Modi.

1:13pm: Unless we can make our stock markets useful for our farmers, they will remain costly ornaments in our economy, says Modi.

1:12pm: Bond markets must become our source of our long term infrastructure demands, says the Prime Minister.

1:10pm: My Government is very keen to encourage start-ups, he says, adding that stock markets are essential for the start-up ecosystem.

1:08pm: Our markets should show they successfully can raise capital for projects benefiting the vast majority of our population... in particular I’m talking about infrastructure, says Modi.

1:07pm: For financial markets to function successfully, participants need to be well informed, he says.

1:06pm: Financial markets can play an important role in the modern economy...However history has shown that financial markets can also do damage if not properly regulated, Modi says.

1:05pm: Constitutional amendments on GST that remained pending for years has been passed and the long awaited GST will soon be a reality, says PM Modi.

1:04pm: Demonetisation is short-term pain for long-term gain, Modi says.

1:04pm: PM Modi speaks. “This is a time there is an economic slowdown... (But ) India’s place is the fastest growing economy.”

1pm: PM Modi inaugurates the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) campus in Raigad

12:53pm: Finance minister Arun Jaitley speaks at the inaugural of the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) in Raigad district. “The demonetisation move has made a lot of the informal savings formal,” Jaitley says in his address, adding that lot of money has come into the banking system post November 9, 2016

12:18pm: PM Modi arrives in Raigad. Here he will inaugurate the new campus of the National Institute of Securities Markets (NiSM) in Panvel.

The NiSM is a public trust and educational institute set up by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

11:40am: PM Modi arrives in Mumbai. He will head to Raigad district.

The Prime Minister had earlier in the day tweeted about the Shivaji memorial, calling the Maratha king “a torchbearer of courage and good governance”.

“I am honoured to be getting the opportunity to perform the Bhoomipujan of Shiv Smarak,” he added.

About the project

The mid-sea Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial — which has been a talking point for all political parties in the state of late — was originally conceived in the 1980s.

Expected to be the world’s tallest statue, the memorial will be 210 metres tall, close to a 12-storey structure, built entirely in the sea on an islet of 15.96 hectare.

The Shivaji statue will surpass the height of New York’s Statue of Liberty and the under-construction Statue of Unity of Saradar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat.

Read | Five things you need to know about Shivaji memorial off Mumbai coast

But the memorial has courted controversy for the mammoth cheque required to be signed for its construction — an estimated Rs 3,600 crore. Since it was first conceived 12 years ago, the budget for Shivaji’s statue has risen 35 times.

The state government is also building a library, an amphitheatre, an aquarium, an IMAX theatre to showcase short films on the Maratha warrior king, guest rooms, a helipad and a hospital, among other things.

Even though the Union environment ministry has allowed the construction, experts claim the movement of boats from Nariman Point to the project site will lead to marine pollution and damage the coast.

The fishing community too has been against the project, saying it will affect their livelihood and harm the fish’s habitat.

Read | What Maharashtra can do with Rs 3,600 crore if Shivaji statue isn’t built

ABOUT THE STATUE
190m will be the height of the statue. The memorial will be constructed on an oval-shaped rocky outcrop in the Arabian Sea
The plan proposes boats to carry visitors from Nariman Point and Gateway of India. The statue is 12km by sea from Gateway, 3.5km from Nariman Point
The memorial will have an art museum, amphitheatre, marine aquarium and galleries, and facilities such as a cafeteria, medical facilities, stalls, wastewater treatment and a berthing jetty for tourists

Political bickering

As preparations were on in full swing, the Opposition slammed the BJP-led state government on Friday, saying the fanfare over the event was a poll gimmick in view of next year’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections.

The BJP’s dominance at the preparation events appeared to have irked both its ally Shiv Sena and some Maratha community leaders as well. The entire area around the Shivaji statue in Chembur, where BJP leaders welcomed people carrying pails of water, soil and stones from across Maharashtra for the bhoomipujan, was decked up with the party’s flag.

The procession rally that followed too was dominated by BJP flags and placards with the face of PM Modi, who will carry out the bhoomipujan.

This was supposed to be an event organised by the Maharashtra government, of which the Shiv Sena is a part. The party was absent at the Chembur event as well as in the procession.

Read | Shiv Sena miffed as BJP usurps launch of Shivaji memorial in Mumbai