Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays Foundation Stone for Nagpur Metro Rail project

The 38.215 km long Nagpur Metro project, scheduled to be completed by March 2018 is being funded and developed by the Centre in partnership with the state government

PM_Modi_Nagpur_metroनागपुर Nagpur (NGP): Visiting poll-bound Maharashtra for a second time in less than a week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday gifted the state a clutch of infrastructure projects including a metro for Nagpur as he reaffirmed his government’s commitment to development and rooting out graft.

Just a day after the Union Cabinet cleared a Rs.8860 crore Metro Rail project for Nagpur, state’s second after Mumbai, Modi laid its foundation in senior BJP leader and Union Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari’s constituency.

Apart from laying the foundation stone for Pardi flyover in Nagpur city, he also dedicated to the nation the 1000 MW Mouda Super Thermal Power Project Stage-1 in pre-election bonanza to the state where BJP-led NDA is seeking to unseat the Congress-NCP government after 15 years.

Though Modi largely avoided making a political speech, the shadow of the upcoming elections appeared to loom large on the events that were boycotted by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan after he was booed at a function in Solapur last Saturday in the presence of Modi, who had then come to inaugurate a national highway project.

Chavan, who had to stop his speech midway amid chants of “Modi! Modi!” by alleged BJP supporters, had on Wednesday said he would skip today’s Nagpur events as “the federal structure of the country has been undermined at the programmes in Congress-ruled states where the PM was present recently.”

Modi had on Saturday also laid the foundation of Rs 4000 crore multi-product Special Economic Zone project spread over 277 hectares at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust near Mumbai that would provide employment to 1.5 lakh people.

While Modi made no mention of Chavan in his speech, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu lamented it, saying he would have been happy if he were present and stressed upon the need for the Centre and state governments to work in tandem as “Team India”.

The 38.215-km-long Nagpur metro project, scheduled to be completed by March 2018, will be funded on equal sharing basis between the state and the Centre with the latter contributing Rs.1555 crore as equity and subordinate debt.

NCP Spokesperson Nawab Malik alleges Nitin Gadkari infringing on Maharashtra government’s rights on Nagpur Metro Rail project

NCP on Thursday accused Union minister Nitin Gadkari of infringing on the rights of Maharashtra government on the Nagpur Metro issue. “The issue concerns the state government and the Union Urban Development Department. Gadkari has no connection with that department but is infringing on the state government’s rights,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said here.

“Even PM Narendra Modi is succumbing to pressure by Gadkari on the Nagpur Metro issue and is bringing party politics into the government function (bhumi puja of metro rail at Nagpur today),” Malik said, adding that in such a situation the decision of chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to skip the event is justified.  Modi laid foundation of Nagpur Metro in senior BJP leader and Union Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari’s constituency, a day after the Union Cabinet cleared a Rs.8860 crore metro project for the city, the second capital of Maharashtra after Mumbai.

Chavan has boycotted the function after he was booed at last Saturday’s function in Solapur in the presence of Modi, who had then come to inaugurate a national highway project. Malik alleged that BJP has begun the manoeuvre to carve out a separate state of Vidarbha “and that’s the reason why that party’s leaders are rushing through projects like the Metro”. Meanwhile, state NCP chief Sunil Tatkare described as “unfortunate” the Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s reported suggestion that the Sharad Pawar-led party should merge with Congress. “Why does he make such a suggestion on the eve of elections,” Tatkare said.

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