He says former CM Prithviraj Chavan had worked hard to get all the clearances required for the coastal road project.
Ever since the centre had cleared the coastal road project in Mumbai political parties have been trying to outdo each other for claiming credit. The BJP had put big hoardings across the city mentioning that the centre was responsible for the faster clearance of the project. On the other hand, Congress claims that the erstwhile Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had done most of the hard work for coastal road and BJP is merely taking credit for it which is unjustified. Congress has been alleging that most of the work done by the saffron party is only restricted to taking forward the agenda of the previous government.
Former Congress MLA Krishna Hegde said, “The only person I actually heard speaking about the coastal road from Mumbai in the past two years was Ex-CM Prithviraj Chavan. Now, the BJP is going ahead and taking credit for the same. He was the one who has been working hard to get all the clearances required for the commencement of the project.”
“In my last five years as MLA, I have not heard of anyone pursuing this project. The proposal continues to remain on paper. I think BJP should only take credit once the project is completed. The previous government had to face severe hurdles while constructing the Milan subway flyover and Sahar elevated road. It took many years for the metro to see the light of the day,” Hegde said.
“Have they spoken to environmentalists, NGOs, local fisherman and people residing in koliwada and closer to sea shore? I don’t think so. Just a metro car shed in Aarey had met with so many objections that BJP had to scrap the project,” he added.
BJP spokesperson Avadhut Wagh said, “There is always a time frame from conceptualisation of a project till its commission. Governments keep on changing but development is an ongoing process.”
“The centre had given a nod for the project which was getting delayed. Our philosophy ‘Vikaas Ka Muddha’ (development) is a commitment given by the Modi government. The project will be completed in three years and people will be able to travel from Nariman Point to Kandivili in 32 minutes.”
Earlier former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had written a letter to the Centre seeking immediate environment clearance for the coastal road project. In his letter to former Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, Chavan had requested the Centre to relax the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms to enable the state to reclaim the land along the seashore for road widening between Nariman Point and Kandivali.
Even Shiv Sena too is upset with the BJP government taking credit for the coastal road project and said that it had taken the mission forward.
“We should be credited for the completion of the project and for bringing a smile on the faces of people and we will definitely take this credit,” the Sena said in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“It was the Shiv Sena that first announced the coastal road project. We even held detailed discussions with experts to understand how our dream could come true.”
“This project needs to be completed by the state government with the help from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). This will be possible only when the Centre is ready to chip in whenever required,” it said.
Earlier, Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray had said that the approval has been received after Shiv Sena MPs sat outside the Parliament demanding clearance.
However, state Revenue minister Eknath Khadse says nobody except the BJP should take credit for the project.
“This project would not have got an approval without the consent of the Environment Ministry that is in control of the BJP. Nobody should try and take unnecessary credit for the coastal road project as it is our party that is ruling at the Centre. Let the people decide who should get the credit,” Khadse said.