Had legal roadblocks, political apathy and paucity of funds not stonewalled most of the infrastructure work planned in Mumbai, by now you would have been zipping across the city in Metro trains and cruising on India’s longest bridge to reach Navi Mumbai.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was sent by the Congress high command to clean up the rot in the state, has now pinned his hopes on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to provide impetus to Mumbai’s stagnant infrastructure growth.
After two consecutive terms in power, the Congress-NCP government has hardly anything to show in terms of infrastructure development apart from the Bandra Worli Sea Link. Ironically, the sea link's construction was started by the Shiv Sena-BJP in the late 90s.
The state government had planned a transport infrastructure plan of over Rs 2 lakh crore to improve Mumbai’s infrastructure. Under the proposal, by 2011, three metro lines, the entire sea link from Bandra till Nariman Point and a partial Mumbai Trans Harbour Link were to be completed.
But the city has got nothing so far. Most of these projects have got mired in financial and legal troubles, and political apathy. However, with the Congress-NCP combine halfway through its five-year term, and civic body elections just around the corner, the government is trying to go all out to show some results on the infrastructure front.
Chavan on Saturday requested the PM to provide Mumbai sops to help complete the pending projects. Apart from seeking financial help from the Centre, the CM also sought revision of certain Central Laws like coastal regulations and land acquisition.