Former union minister Gurudas Kamat made a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s highly “advertised” launch of projects in Mumbai as a “poll stunt”. “The launch of projects by Modi is a poll stunt. But for the sake of Mumbai and Mumbaikars the party hopes that these projects will be completed on time,” Kamat, general secretary of AICC, said in a statement .
The statement made by Kamat assumes significance in the backdrop that polls for the Mumbai civic body will be held in early 2017.The Congress leader said, “It was because of my efforts that then former Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee cleared proposals for launch 15 coach trains, extension of harbour line from CST to Goregaon and modernisation of 3 suburban stations of Andheri, Jogeshwari and Goregaon.”
“Also the new railway station at Ram Mandir Road which was inaugurated by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu recently is part of the follow-up,” the release quoting Kamat said.
The Congress leader said that it was in his speech at a function where Mamata Banerjee was present that he had proposed elevated railway to be considered on Central and Western railway lines to alleviate the problems of suburban commuters and to reduce congestion on city roads.
“All of these proposals were accepted by Banerjee. She held a series of meetings with Railway Board members on this and had cleared all the projects for city,” said the release.
All technical clearances and support of the Central Government were obtained during the UPA tenure for the launch of elevated railway on both Central and Western railway lines, but the matter was held up at the state government level for FSI of 5 demanded by the Railways.
“It is surprising though as clearances for these initiatives have happened and many of them launched and completed, the Churchgate to Bandra Elevated Railway Extension seems to have been mysteriously dropped by the BJP Government,” said Kamat.
After completion of Metro-I, the second phase of metro was also launched by the then President Pratibha Patil. The Dahisar to Mankhurd stretch which was already planned and approved is today being relaunched by the Prime Minister.
However, instead from Dahisar the project will now be between D N Nagar to Mankhurd.Kamat hoped that BJP led Central and State Government will acknowledge efforts taken during the regime of UPA Government for making these initiatives a reality.