With an investment of nearly Rs1 lakh crore riding on big-ticket infrastructure projects in the state in the coming years, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is keen on setting up a separate mechanism within his office to closely monitor these projects.
The proposed war room on infrastructure — it could be formally given another name — is where Fadnavis will review important projects fortnightly to ensure officials stick to their deadlines and coordination hurdles are resolved. The CMO will identify and take up 10 big infra projects at a go, including the coastal road, Navi Mumbai airport, the second and third Mumbai Metro lines, the Mumbai trans-harbour line and the Nagpur Metro, among others.
A functional team within the CMO will coordinate the progress of the projects and is likely to be headed by a senior official.
While CMO officials are tight-lipped about this move, Fadnavis is learnt to have held a two-hour meeting on Mumbai’s infrastructure mess on Tuesday.
“The past track record of earlier governments in completing infrastructure projects has been poor. A project like the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road took 10 years to complete. The Navi Mumbai airport has been delayed by a decade. Fadnavis wants to ensure the new projects he sanctions along with the old ones get completed within a deadline,’’ said a senior official.
The official said this is only possible if the chief minister himself oversees such projects and holds the city’s myriad agencies, including the BMC, MMRDA, MSRDC and its top officials, accountable.
It is also learnt the empowered committee for the Mumbai makeover, led by the chief secretary, will now be activated and linked to the CMO’s war room and the citizens’ action group, made up of prominent citizens and officials to oversee the infrastructure projects, will be reconstituted. Many of the former CAG members have not been attending meetings and it has not been as active as earlier.
Bombay First, an initiative of private businesses, which have been partnering with the state government on the Mumbai makeover since 2003, will continue to play a role in the BJP-led government’s new initiative.