The planning authority for Mumbai region has decided to take a re-look at its priorities.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which has come under increasing flak in the recent past over delays in infrastructure projects like the Metro and Monorail, has now decided that it won’t take up projects that are not related to core infrastructure development.
In the past, the agency has been accused of putting its fingers in too many pies, and not paying attention to core infrastructure projects. The problems began when former metropolitan commissioner and present chief secretary, Ratnakar Gaikwad, floated many offbeat proposals during his tenure as MMRDA chief, in his attempts to turn Mumbai into a top class city.
One such plan that the MMRDA is planning to drop is the Rs 100 crore Mangrove Park mooted by Gaikwad in 2010.
Metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said, “We seriously need to reconsider our priorities. MMRDA’s main job is to improve transport and communication in the region and we will concentrate on doing that,”
“We have no plans of building the Mangrove Park. However some other agency can always take it up,” Asthana said.
During Gaikwad’s tenure the MMRDA had decided to take up a slew of projects apart from those aimed at improving Mumbai’s transport. The projects included setting up a Rs100 crore Mangrove Park in Gorai, a Rs 10,000 crore Innovation Park, and getting into power generation.
The Mangrove Park project was a particularly ambitious plan. In its 2009-10 budget, the MMRDA had announced that it would convert nearly 137 hectares of land at Gorai-Manori into a mangrove park.
It was planned that different varieties of mangroves would be cultivated and displayed in the park. The park was supposed to have walkways, cycling tracks, and restaurants.
The MMRDA had sought approval from the Maharashtra Coastal Zonal Management Authority (MCZMA) for the project. However the MCZMA refused to give permission for the setting up of concrete structures and eateries within the park.