Deputy chairman of the planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia reiterated the need to speed up the Churchgate-Virar elevated corridor during a meeting held on Thursday. He urged chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to sign the State Support Agreement with the railways at the earliest.
The state government clarified that it did not wish to allot a large floor space index (FSI) at the eight locations identified by the railways, as this would lead to tremendous pressure on the infrastructure. "It is agreed that a delay in the decision escalates the cost of the project, but bad decisions too cost a lot for the state government. The land acquisition required in the project as per the revised plan is nearly 3 hectares and the decision about the FSI would be taken with due diligence," said JK Banthia, chief secretary.
He, however, said that the central government was positive about funding irrigation projects that required completion in the face of the drought situation. "We need nearly Rs29,500 crore to complete the projects. Our annual expenditure for the irrigation project is Rs9,500 crore. With this allocation, the projects will take years to complete."
The government made a presentation of various projects being implemented under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. Two phases of the Metro and the Navi Mumbai Airport, both under PPP, were also discussed.