With new regime in Maharashtra, fate of many infra projects at stake
With a Shiv Sena-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) regime set to assume office in Maharashtra on Thursday, doubts are being raised over the fate of several infrastructure projects in Mumbai, the financial capital of India, and elsewhere in the state.
Topping the list of projects that might face delays are Mumbai Metro-3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz), the 701-km Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway and the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train.
Shiv Sena has opposed the cutting of more than 2,000 trees and the construction of a car shed in Aarey Milk Colony, one of the last green lungs of the city, for Metro-3 on multiple occasions.
Aaditya Thackeray, chief of the Sena’s youth wing Yuva Sena, also condemned the cutting of trees in Aarey in October. The Sena, NCP and Congress have also opposed the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway and the bullet train in the past, both being the BJP’s pet projects.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande on Wednesday said no more trees will be cut in Aarey. About the bullet train project, she said, “If so many people are going to be affected by the project, then what is the need for it?”
Sena leader Anil Parab said: “There will definitely be a review of all projects.” Sachin Sawant, spokesperson from Congress, also said there will be an audit on the “feasibility” of the projects.
The BJP-Shiv Sena government had made a plan for 13 metro corridors with an investment of ₹1 lakh crore in the Mumbai metropolitan region. A realignment or changes in the plan for Metro-3 will result in the ₹23,000 crore project, which had been expected to be partly operational from 2021, to run into delays.
Chandrashekhar Dhage, an architect, said: “Mumbai metro projects could be affected largely as Congress and NCP have more rural voters.”
BJP spokesman Atul Shah said: “The enthusiasm and pace at which the Fadnavis government undertook the infrastructure projects in Mumbai will be a complete amiss under the new government.”
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