Under attack, Maharashtra CM denies decision deficit

Last Updated: Sun, Apr 15, 2012 20:52 hrs

Under attack from both the ruling coalition and opposition parties for his alleged inaction and a prevailing “policy paralysis”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan says major infrastructure projects, since he took over in November 2010, have gained momentum due to a systematic approach. The trigger for the claim was a tweet by Union minister Milind Deora that a decision deficit was delaying the implementation of major infrastructure projects in state capital and the rest of Maharashtra.

Substantiating his point, Chavan has come out with a list of such projects such as Navi Mumbai International Airport, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, Dharavi Re-development Project and cluster development of dilapidated buildings. A release issued by the chief minister’s office yesterday also said the government had finalised the pricing and allotment policy regarding houses for mill workers.

Chavan said his dispensation had taken several decisions that were for long remained pending, adding that the last one-and-a-half years had given impetus to various projects of larger public interest. The examples cited included an amendment in the Development Control rules. Also, transportation project such as metro and mono were underway in a bid to minimise road traffic congestion. “The proposed water transportation projects, along with Mumbai’s coast, will be a treat for daily commuters,” the release said.

The much talked MTHL project linking Mumbai with Raigad “is very much on schedule”, and the tender process would be completed next year. Six consortiums, comprising 18 Indian and foreign companies, have shown interest in building the link, which would provide faster connectivity to the Navi Mumbai International Airport. The 22-km sea link, connecting Sewri in South-Central Mumbai with Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai, will have six-lane road bridges along with provision for building two metro lines.

As for the Navi Mumbai airport, a proposal to commence construction on the airport site (after giving consideration to the mangroves) in the project area was in its “final stage” of approval. In January 2011, the City and Industrial Development Corporation Board had approved modifications to the Navi Mumbai Development Plan for the airport zone. A year later, a draft request for qualification was discussed at the meeting held in Delhi. The bidding process will start on the receipt of an approval.

Further, the government has given priority to a project on Dharavi, and decks have been cleared for this project aimed at redeveloping the vast slum. The government has changed the eligibility criteria for the slum dwellers by protecting pre-1995 structures. The final amendment to the development control rules has paved the way for the redevelopment of Dharavi as well as cluster development of dilapidated buildings in the city. The amendment to DCR 33(9a) and 33(10), especially issued for Dharavi, provides global FSI of 4 to the shantytown.

To enable redevelopment of dilapidated buildings in the metro, the government has made amendments in Section 33(9) of the DC rules. The buildings would be developed cluster-wise. Till now, the authorities have given five permissions for the cluster development. More such proposals would require consent from 70 per cent cluster residents and 100 per cent of their owners.

Further, the government would “go strictly by rules and regulations”, and hence, will be “study every proposal in detail”.

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