Modi’s green signal for slew of projects during daylong Maharashtra visit

Mumbai, Dec 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday gave the green signal to a slew of infrastructure projects in Mumbai and Pune, besides inaugurating the new campus of SEBI’s National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) during his daylong visit to Maharashtra.

Modi was received by Governor C.V. Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries on his arrival around noon by an IAF aircraft at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport here.

Later, he went to adjoining Raigad district to inaugurate Securities and Exchange Board of India’s NISM campus at Patalganga, near Panvel.

Thereafter, the Prime Minister arrived at Girgaum Chowpatty in Mumbai and climbed aboard an Indian Coast Guard hovercraft to travel around 1.5 km into the Arabian Sea to perform the ‘jal-pooja’ for the proposed Rs 3,600 crore sea memorial to the great Maratha warrior king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

At the project’s designated spot in the Arabian Sea, where a makeshift floating mini-replica of the proposed memorial was created for Saturday’s event, Modi poured water brought from the state’s holy rivers and scattered a fistful of earth brought from all over Maharashtra at the site to perform the ritual.

Upon his return to the shore at Girgaum Chowpatty, he was welcomed by a traditional Maharashtrian band before he performed another brief ‘bhoomi pooja’ for the memorial amid sounding of bugles and ‘tutaris’.

Descendents of the great Maratha warrior, Udayan Raje Bhosale and Sambhaji Raje Bhosale, were also present along with other personalities at these events.

Visiting the business hub of Bandra Kurla Complex, Modi laid the foundation stone of various Mumbai infrastructure projects entailing an expenditure of around Rs 106,000 crore.

These include Metro-2B connecting D.N. Nagar-Bandra-Mankhurd, Metro 4 connecting Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavli, Mumbai Urban Transport Project III for procuring latest suburban train rakes, quadrupling of Virar-Dahanu corridor on Western Railway, a new 28-km rail corridor between Panvel-Karjat-Khopoli in Raigad district and related projects.

The Maharashtra government and the Indian Railways also exchanged memorandums of understanding for the 48-km Bandra-Virar elevated rail corridor, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Panvel elevated rail corridor and the 70-km Diva-Panvel suburban corridor connecting Thane and Raigad.

An important highlight was the foundation stone for the Mumbai trans-harbour link connecting Mumbai with Navi Mumbai and Pune Expressway, besides providing easy access to the new greenfield international airport coming up in Raigad.

Flying to Pune late Saturday evening, Modi laid the foundation stone of the first-ever Metro rail project, that will cost around Rs 11,420 crore, in the state’s cultural-academic capital.