Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a progress report on February 18 on a flock of infrastructure undertakings initiated through his tenure, reassuring great times for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region by 2022.
“By 2022, aircraft would be flying (from Navi Mumbai international airport), you would be driving on the longest sea link (Mumbai Trans Harbour Link), double-laning of suburban railway corridor will be done and the statue of Shivaji Maharaj installed (off Mumbai coast),” stated the PM, when he was in the commercial capital to electronically inaugurate the innovation ceremony of the Rs 16,000-crore Navi Mumbai International Airport and dedicating the fourth biggest container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
“Around 450 aircraft are operational in India, including those owned privately…since Independence. However, within just last one year, there have been orders for 900 new planes,” the PM said in his 15-minute speech at the public occasion at a ground near Kombadbhuje village in the planned airport region in Raigad district.
The PM cheering crowd turned enthusiastic when he spoke of Shivaji Jayanti on February 19 and referred to revitalize the Maratha king’s marine route tactics of fortifying the ports of India to reinforce exports as part of the Sagarmala project. “If we have to carve out a place in a globalized world, we need to enhance our waterways.”
Modi also evoked succession of the BJP rule by referring to the two-decade-old largest Greenfield airport project as one that “had been conceived during former PM A B Vajpayee’s tenure”.
Modi also criticized the previous governments and “the tardy work culture when most projects were only on paper”. He said that in his rule, he began the PRAGATI portal to accelerate projects that had been sitting idle, Navi Mumbai airport is also among them. He did not name the Congress and neither referred to the 2019 elections, but the indirect road map under his governance and petitioning of future support was obvious.
Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis, said he had discussions with a diplomatic ally for the airport project and the time limit for the inaugural flight was December 2019. Fadnavis attributed Maharashtra’s development to the leadership and purpose-driven approach of the Prime Minister.