Shiv Sena on Saturday took pot-shots at Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis over the Mahad tragedy, saying his ministers should stop flying in helicopters to understand the condition of roads and bridges in the state.
Sena also said the present government’s ambitious ‘Make in Maharashtra’ programme should begin with the construction of good quality roads and bridges, in the absence of which no foreign nation would be willing to invest here.
“Instead of indulging in a blame-game and only conducting meetings to gauge the Mahad tragedy, what is needed is to give a serious thought over the issue,” the party said in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“District guardian ministers should not be given permission to fly to their respective districts. Let them travel by dilapidated roads and bridges and then conduct an audit. Because when ministers fear for their lives, audit and repairs, both shall take place,” it said.
It said if in a progressive state like Maharashtra a large number of people die in natural calamities, the government needed to change the structure of its ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make in Maharashtra’ programmes.
“Start your ‘Make in Maharashtra’ programme by fixing old and dilapidated bridges. Unless you construct proper roads, do not expect foreign nations to invest money here,” it said.
The editorial also questioned why the tragedy could not be averted despite the presence of a strong government in the state for over two years.
Eight more bodies were recovered on Friday during search and rescue operation in Mahad, where two state-run buses and some private vehicles were swept away by the flooded Savitri river after a British-era bridge collapsed on the Mumbai-Goa highway. The death toll has gone up to 22.
The Opposition Congress slammed the “double standards” of Sena over the Mahad tragedy, and asked it fix roads and bridges in Mumbai before advising the BJP to do so across the state.
“Sena’s corruption in the BMC has resulted in thousands of potholes across the city where people are losing lives. Sure, it can play the role of a big brother by advising the BJP but it should also play the role of a responsible brother and fix roads bridges in the city and not play with the lives of people for monetary gains,” Congress spokesperson Al-Nasser Zakaria said.