Development will not be at the cost of Maharashtra’s environment, says CM Uddhav Thackeray

At launch of 2 MTDC hotels, Thackeray says losing what we have and creating what we don’t need is not development
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Published on Sep 27, 2020 11:43 PM IST
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By, Mumbai

Development in the state will not be at the cost of destroying the environment and nature, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday, while inaugurating two projects of the tourism department headed by his son and state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray.

The CM launched two hotels, one in Nashik and the other in Kharghar, of the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), on the occasion of World Tourism Day on Sunday. He also inaugurated Grape Park resort in Nashik near Gangapur dam, which has a boat club.

Thackeray has, in the past too, stressed the need to conserve the nature and environment while approving development projects in the state. When his party was in the government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) between 2014 and 2019, the Sena opposed the mega oil refinery project in Nanar, Ratnagiri. “Many a times, it happens that for development we destroy the nature and environment that we have. We want development. Definitely, we want it, but not by destroying what we have. We have shown that development can happen while conserving what we have,” the CM said.

“Earlier, an issue had raged about a refinery. Where should such projects come up? Where should railway routes come up? We had a railway route, so where can we provide an alternate route?… Our cabinet has decided that we will conserve what we have and provide what is needed. If we follow this, we will have complete development. I don’t consider losing what we have and taking what we did not want as development,” the CM said.

Aaditya added the state government is chalking out plans to make Maharashtra an appealing destination to tourists. He said the department was taking steps to make tourists stay longer in Mumbai and Maharashtra.

“Mumbai gets two types of tourists – financial or business tourists who stay for 36 hours and tourists who come for 20-25 days. Of the 25 days, they stay in Maharashtra for three or four days and leave for Goa, Jaipur etc. Our effort is to make the tourists who come for 36 hours stay for two-three days, and those who come for three days stay for a week,” Aaditya said.

The tourism minister added the department has planned to introduce more tourist spots in Mumbai, including developing Gateway of India precinct, tours at BMC headquarters, etc. He added the department was developing Alibag, Manori and Erangal. looking at Matheran and Mahabaleshwar as tourist spots for international tourists as well.

“We are starting the boat club, which is of an international standard. It has various types of boats, including speed boat, banana boats, barge, etc,” Aaditya said.

He later tweeted, “It was envisioned by the then Tourism Minister and now Nashik Guardian Minister @ChhaganCBhujbal ji. Glad to have launched it today.”


    Swapnil Rawal is Principal Correspondent with the Hindustan Times. He covers urban development and infrastructure. He had long stints with leading national dailies and has experience of over a decade in journalism.

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