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Uddhav releases Mumbai development plan to woo voters

Saffron party hopes to checkmate Congress-NCP and MNS and improve its tally in the upcoming assembly polls

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Friday released a plan to strengthen Mumbai’s infrastructure and provide more open spaces, in a bid to woo voters ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly polls in September-October.

Flagship projects included the Rs 10,000-crore coastal road project connecting north & south Mumbai, the release of 911 acres currently in possession of the Indian Navy and Mumbai Port Trust, development of public gardens on 225 acres on the Mahalaxmi racecourse and the construction of two more dams to provide 24x7 water supply.

Buoyed by victory of party nominees in three out of six seats in Lok Sabha election, Shiv Sena hopes to ride on development plank and win more seats in the coming assembly poll compared to just four seats won in 2009 assembly poll in Mumbai. There are in all 36 assembly seats in Mumbai and Congress-NCP and Shiv Sena-BJP have geared up to increase their presence.

The Mumbai development plan is a brain child of party president Uddhav Thackeray and it is a clear attempt to checkmate Congress-NCP combine which proposes to seek votes on state government's slew of initiatives including mono rail, metro rail, free way. On the other hand, Uddhav by releasing the Mumbai development plan now has taken on his estranged brother and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray whose much debated blue print for Maharashtra will be finally out in July.

Thackeray hoped it would be quite easy to seek necessary approvals for the projects without delays. ''I alongwith Shiv Sena MPs will soon make detailed presentations to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, minister for surface transport and shipping Nitin Gadkari and minister of state for environment and forests Prakash Jawdekar to get financial assistance and clearances,'' he told Business Standard.

Uddhav however, criticised the Congress-NCP government for simply sitting on the coastal road project for almost three years. He announced the Shiv Sena controlled BMC will undertake the ambitious coastal road project between Nariman Point & Gorai in north Mumbai. '

'The project involves 35% reclaimed land along western coast, silt on mangroves and tunnel in some areas. All the necessary precaution will be taken to protect the fishing community located along the coast. Mumbaikars will get one more connectivity and also open spaces,'' he informed.

Shiv Sena MP and former chairman of BMC's standing committee Rahul Shewale said the civic body has already appointed a consultant to prepare a detailed project report for the proposed coastal road.

''Funds won't be a major issue. BMC with an annual budget of Rs 31,570 crore has fixed deposits of Rs 30,000 crore, BMC's various properties are valued at Rs 3 lakh crore. Besides, BMC has earned Rs 3,000 crore from premium charged on fungible floor space index. There is an asset reconstruction fund of Rs 3,000 crore,'' informed.

Moreover, Uddhav said nearly 911 acre of land can get from the Indian Navy and MBPT. In addition to this, eastern coast, which is currently inaccessible due to junk yard and couple of illegal structures, can also be thrown open for water transport.

This apart, Uddhav said BMC, which completed the Madhya Vaitarana dam in a record three years, plans to undertake Pinjal and Gargai irrigation projects which will lead to 24x7 water for Mumbaikars.

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First Published: Sat, June 21 2014. 00:22 IST