Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will oppose any proposal to shift the Mumbai Port Trust out of the city.
It is also unhappy with the Centre’s draft notification on the Coastal Regulatory Zone and will prepare a report, pointing out shortcomings of the draft vis-a-vis infrastructure development and submit it to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday himself highlighted these two issues at the review meeting with his party ministers, first of its kind after the new government was sworn in November 2009.
This also means the NCP is not very happy with the Congress as the stand taken by the party on the above issues will be against two Congress ministers – Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil at the state level and Jairam Ramesh at the Centre.
However, Pawar also instructed his ministers not to pick up fights with Congress and sort out issues through a co-ordination committee. It is learnt that Pawar said he was surprised to read news reports stating that the state government wanted to shift the port from the city.
HT was the first newspaper to report on state ports minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s demand that port be shifted out of the city on the lines of other global coastal cities.
“He (Pawar) said one can’t shift the port from the city. Thousands of dock workers depend on it for their livelihood,’’ said Madan Bafna, party spokesperson.
Bafna added that Pawar had asked party leaders to make their opposition to this move clear. Shiv Sena has also opposed this move with executive president, Uddhav Thackeray threatening agitation against such a policy.
Pawar set up a committee led by Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal to prepare a report on the draft CRZ notification prepared by the Ministry of Environments and Forest.
The committee will include minister for rural development, Jayant Patil, minister of state for urban development, Bhaskar Jadhav and minister of state for housing Sachin Ahir. It will take on board experts and finalise a note on the policy.
“Pawarsaheb had got the draft notification from the center and after studying it, he felt it would not be beneficial for the state’s infrastructure development. He said there should be more debate on the issue,’’ said Ahir.