Taking coalition partner the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) by surprise, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday asked the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to publish a white paper on all its finished and unfinished projects and the expenditure incurred on them.
Chavan gave the development agency, which he heads, 30 days to prepare and publish the document. The move puts the NCP on the backfoot as home minister as senior NCP leader RR Patil had demanded a white paper on development projects from Chavan, in the wake of the September 4 mishap at the under-construction Metro site.
This was seen as a counter-attack on Chavan, who had earlier demanded a white paper on projects since 1999 from the water resources department, headed by the NCP, over allegations of cost inflations and graft in several irrigation projects.
However, with the CM taking the initiative by demanding details from the MMRDA, the water resources department, headed by NCP's Sunil Tatkare, and earlier by NCP leader Ajit Pawar, will now be under pressure to come out with information on its own projects soon.
"For the MMRDA, preparing the white paper will be easy because everything is on its website. The authority is transparent in its dealings and works," the CM told the media on Friday.
The CM also favoured similar white papers from every department. "The information should be debated upon to facilitate better policy decisions. People can also analyse it to see what is right and what is wrong."