PMO steps in, fast-tracks revamp of Mumbai port land | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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PMO steps in, fast-tracks revamp of Mumbai port land

Highly-placed sources have told HT that the Prime Minister’s Office has expressed a keen interest in the project and has asked for copies of the land development panel’s report.

mumbai Updated: Jan 17, 2015 17:17 IST
Kunal Purohit

The transformation of the defunct and derelict port land now appears to be on the fast track. Highly-placed sources have told HT that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has expressed a keen interest in the project and has asked for copies of the land development panel’s report.

In addition, Union shipping minister Nitin Gadkari is all set to convene a high-level joint meeting with a number of agencies in Mumbai on Monday to discuss, among other things, the Rani Jadhav committee report that recommends ways of developing the port trust land.

These developments come within a few days of the Mumbai Port Land development committee (MPLDC) submitting its report to the ministry. Both, the PMO’s intervention and Gadkari’s meeting with stakeholder agencies and possibly chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, show the high priority being accorded to the port overhaul project, a plan which presents the city with an opportunity to transform itself.

Sources said the PMO is also planning to hold a meeting with the shipping ministry to discuss the issue.

However, what has surprised most is the swiftness with which the PMO has reacted to the submission. Within a week of the panel’s submission of the report to the ministry, the PMO asked for the report as well. In addition, the PMO approached the panel directly, asking for the report, rather than approaching the shipping ministry, sources familiar to the development said.

In fact, the PMO had contacted the panel even while the report was being drafted. Sources said such an approach by the PMO may imply fast-tracking of the project. “The PMO checking on the project can only mean that the project will get attention and will be sped up,” said a senior official from the shipping ministry.

For now, however, all eyes are on Gadkari, who is yet to react to the panel’s report. While he has given the Mumbai port trust directions on the action to be taken against errant leases, he hasn’t added much to it.

Gadkari, sources in the port trust said, will conduct the joint meet to iron out coordination between different agencies, such as the BMC and the MMRDA. While this meeting will have different issues on its agenda, the Rani Jadhav panel report will also feature in the meeting, sources said.