All infrastructure projects under review, none halted: CM Uddhav Thackeray
Amid the looming prospect of possible rollback of several large infrastructure projects in the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday clarified that no projects have been halted barring the construction of the Metro car shed in Aarey.
Since the new Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP government was formed last week, there has been speculation that several existing projects started under the erstwhile BJP-led regime may be stayed or shelved.
The projects under scanner also include Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train line.
However, when asked about the status of existing projects, CM Uddhav Thackeray told reporters that no decision has been taken so far. The CM made the statement yesterday after he chaired a meeting to review key infrastructure projects in the state.
“There has been no order issued to halt any ongoing infrastructure project. Since the state government is reviewing the situation, no decision has been taken regarding the bullet train project as well,” Thackeray said.
“The only stay order issued is for construction of car shed on Aarey land in Mumbai for Metro-3 line,” he stressed.
The Metro car shed in Aarey, which involved the felling of over 2,000 trees, has been one of the most controversial projects in recent times. Prior to the polls, the Sena had promised that it would stop the car shed’s construction if it came to power.
Responding to allegations that the government may stall development, Thackeray said his government would not create hurdles in any infrastructure project but will prioritize them based on available funds and their resultant benefit.
Hon’ble CM Shri.Uddhavsaheb Thackeray took a review meeting of various Infrastructure Projects at Mantralay, Mumbai today.
— Office of Uddhav Thackeray (@OfficeofUT) December 3, 2019
Senior NCP leader and minister Jayant Patil, who was also a part of the review meeting, said that the government is currently in the process of reviewing existing projects and will take decisions on staying or expediting them once the review is done.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya has questioned the state’s intentions.
“What is the intention of the new Maharashtra government to stay all infrastructure projects of more than Rs 2 lacs crores? Sending a signal to contractors?? Who will be responsible for delay and cost escalation?,” Somaiya said.
Any delay in existing projects will especially hurt Mumbaikars as several of the state’s biggest and most crucial infrastructure projects are in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
These include seven Metro rail lines, a coastal road, a sea link, a super communication highway till Nagpur and a bullet train.