Bachchan's post on coastal road sparks ownership spat between Shiv Sena, BJP | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Bachchan's post on coastal road sparks ownership spat between Shiv Sena, BJP

May 02, 2024 11:24 PM IST

Aaditya Thackeray, leader of Shiv Sena UBT, has lashed out at the BJP, claiming that the project was solely the work of Shiv Sena UBT president Uddhav Thackeray

While political pugilism in other parts of the nation has centred on leaked sex tapes and inheritance tax, in Mumbai, the brawl, at least pro tempore, is over the coastal road. And everyone wants a piece of the tarmac.

A section of the coastal road that links Marine Drive and Worli. (File Photo)
A section of the coastal road that links Marine Drive and Worli. (File Photo)

On the one hand, Aaditya Thackeray, leader of the Shiv Sena UBT, has lashed out at the BJP, claiming that the project was solely the work of Shiv Sena UBT president Uddhav Thackeray. Every other faction is claiming the avenue is of their own making.

The squabbling takes root in a post on X - specifically, one labelled T 4999, posted by an actor whose proclivity for sequentially numbering his tweets is matched only by the looming presence he has on the industry - Amitabh Bachchan. It reads: "Oh! Boy!! went to work.. after Sea Link on to Coastal Road and Tunnel underground.. JVPD, Juhu to Marine Drive, 30 mins." This prompted many BJP supporters to assert that the project was only made possible by the BJP and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Pedestrian reality, however, has it that the Mumbai Coastal Road project was constructed by the BMC, which was under the control of the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray until 2022. The ground-breaking ceremony was performed by Uddhav Thackeray, while the inauguration of the partially completed coastal road was done by CM Eknath Shinde just before the implementation of the code of conduct.

Uddhav's Sena seized the moment. Taking to X, Aaditya expressed his amusement at the BJP Maharashtra taking credit for the coastal road. He wrote, "The coastal road is a project that BJP has absolutely nothing to do with, apart from delaying the permission from the union environment ministry for two years. The coastal road was announced and implemented by Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray through BMC. The BMC is desperate for credit and, as always, for works not done by itself."

Thackeray Jr also criticised the delays in the project, saying, "The coastal road was partially opened, and it's a joke of how delayed it is. Had the MVA been in government, we would have completed the work by December 2023 without cost escalation." He noted that the work was scheduled to have finished last year but isn't half done by mid-2024, with the deadline being pushed ahead each month. He asserted that Mumbaikars know it was Uddhav Thackeray who made this project happen, sharing pictures of the ground-breaking ceremony.

A former engineer who worked on the coastal road project added to the mix, saying the project was really the brainchild of then-CM Prithviraj Chavan and was later pushed by both the BJP and Shiv Sena. He said that while the Shiv Sena pushed the project in BMC, the BJP secured permissions from the centre.

BJP Leader and MLC Prasad Lad countered, "It was only BJP which got permission. BMC was only implementing. These Thackerays did not come out of Matoshree 1 and 2. They must come for debate at Shivaji Park, and I will expose them. Doing bhoomipoojan [groundbreaking ceremony] does not mean completing the project."

City BJP chief Ashish Shelar piped in, "The coastal road project was being discussed for many years. The permissions were obtained by the Devendra Fadnavis government. The state allowed BMC to be the implementing agency. In fact, during MVA rule, substandard material was being used, and I raised objections."

Meanwhile, Devendra Fadnavis stuck to the straight and narrow lane. He thanked Amitabh Bachchan for sharing his travel story and buttressed it with boilerplate: "Mumbai is upgrading, we are constantly working on creating a time-saving travel experience for Mumbaikars."

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