The chest-thumping over big-ticket infrastructure projects, a mainstay during the presentation of the State Budget last year, was conspicuous by its absence on Friday as State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar read out his government’s financial plan for the 2018-19 fiscal year. For starters, there was no mention of the 29.2 km Coastal Road in the budget speech. Rs 10,828 crore has been proposed for road construction in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Rs 2,558 crore has been allotted for the Mukhya Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and it is a right step in the right direction. The only exception he made was for the Rs 7,502-crore Versova-Bandra sea link, a project pending since 2007-08. Recently, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had contracted construction major Louis Berger for project management services. Thus Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority is going to get much needed boost which also includes the development of Metro lines. It is indeed a big ticket proposal for MMRDA.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)