Nitin Gadkari slams Maharashtra government for dragging feet on water transport project in Mumbai
Mooted in 1999, the water transport project on the west coast of the metropolis failed to take offmumbai Updated: Aug 08, 2017 23:31 IST
Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari criticised the state government's inability to implement the water transport project in Mumbai. Speaking at an event on the development of cruise tourism in India, Gadkari slammed the state for not commissioning the project almost two decades after he had proposed it as the then state PWD minister.
Mooted in 1999, the water transport project on the west coast of the metropolis failed to take off. Initially, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) went through the tender process thrice, but executing the project on build, operate and transfer (BOT) model did not materialise. It was then handed over to Maharashtra Maritime Board but it too hit a roadblock.
The MMB had planned to cut a 35-km commute for 300 passengers to 30 minutes from the current 75 minutes it takes for them to travel by road during non-peak hours. The MMB did not get clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority to construct a jetty at Borivli. “When I was the minister in Maharashtra between 1995 and 2000, I had initiated the water transport project in Mumbai. Today, nearly two decades have passed, you are still studying, appointing committees and discussing it. Don’t know if this generation will see the project materialise or our grandchildren will see it,” Gadkari said. State tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal and state chief secretary Sumit Mullick were on the dais.
The union minister, who credited to give Mumbai 50 flyovers on its two express highways, went on to criticise the bureaucracy in decision-making for crucial projects. He said, “The reason is not ministers, it's the bureaucracy and the system.”
Gadkari said that there are several challenges in a project, but governments should take up projects in a time-bound fashion. “I request you to send all proposals of jetties to me, I [the Centre] will give money for the project. Send all projects to me on war footing…and make a time-bound plan,” Gadkari told Mullick.