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Challenging time ahead for Chavan

This was not exactly the situation Prithviraj Chavan would have loved to find himself in.

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2011 01:20 IST
Shailesh Gaikwad

This was not exactly the situation Prithviraj Chavan would have loved to find himself in.

As he completes one year in office on Friday, Chavan is getting some praises and a lot of brickbats.

Post-Adarsh episode, Chavan was sent to Mumbai as chief minister to clean up the mess and show that the Congress-led government was providing clean administration. Going by the reactions from various quarters, Chavan has managed to create that impression. He is acting tough on the builders-politicians-administration nexus on senior level in the government.

To his credit, builders and their middlemen do hesitate before entering the chief minister’s office on sixth floor of Mantralaya. Senior bureaucrats are thinking twice before clearing any proposal or file that would favour builders or contractors.

Chavan has been putting more stress on transparency and more use of information technology in governance.

But is it enough?
Chavan says he is cautious in clearing files or taking decisions on various issues. However, in a government system where delay in taking decisions is order of the day, the bureaucracy is worried that pushing for any decision would be seen as corruption. They prefer to keep it pending.

On industrial front, Maharashtra is not aggressive in attracting more investments, which would get more revenue and generate employment. Not many manufacturing units are coming to Maharashtra as land and labour cost are too high, power supply is erratic, and tax rates are not attractive. It has potential to attract the booming service sector, but the government is making no efforts for the same. Mumbai is in urgent need of a makeover, but the citizens are fed up of unending infrastructure construction work and traffic congestion.

Chavan, who is blaming the coalition for most of his troubles, does not seem to have a plan for the immediate future.

This has also led to the belief in political circles that he would remain in the state till he gets a call from Congress high command to return to the Centre.

Chavan’s biggest challenge will be to show that his government can deliver and at the same time ensure that his party benefits from the same.

The ruling combine has been in power for 12 years now and the people don’t care what are its limitations. They want results.