Ahead of the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Centre has pushed another big ticket infra project for the state with Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu saying that the groundbreaking ceremony of the city's Colaba-Seepz metro project will be held soon.
"We will soon hold the groundbreaking ceremony for the Colaba-Seepz Metro project," said the urban development minister, who was here last night to review the city's first Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro project.
The Rs. 23,000 crore project had an in-principle nod from the previous UPA government but could not move forward. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the JNPT SEZ project last week and Nagpur Metro project yesterday.
He had also dedicated two power projects to the nation last week. The Modi Government wants to connect the entire city with Metro networks to ensure decongestion and to make it pollution-free, Naidu said. "We want Mumbai to be well connected through a large Metro network to reduce congestion as well as pollution. The Colaba-Seepz Metro project has already been approved and the work will also begin soon," he said adding, "the government also has another Metro for the city on its agenda."
Taking a dig at state chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who skipped the groundbreaking ceremony of Nagpur Metro yesterday, Naidu said, "The state and Centre should work hand-in-hand to achieve the common goal of development."
On the Colaba-Seepz metro line, he said it should be an equal joint venture between the state and the Centre. He also called for forming a special purpose vehicle to execute the project.
"This will be an ideal situation and we will provide all the necessary assistance to the state," he said. The Centre is also planning to strengthen connectivity between railway and metro stations, the Union minister said.
"We want to improve the connectivity between the railway and metro stations. We will soon discuss about this with the rail ministry," Naidu said.
It may be recalled that Maharashtra had put the second Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd elevated metro project on the back burner as there was a dispute over the right of way for the depot land. The government has appointed the state-run RITES to prepare a revised proposal for the Colaba corridor.