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Mumbai Will Leapfrog by Five Years Ahead of All Megapolises Soon: Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

With the kind of infrastructure projects that we are building, Mumbai will leapfrog by at least five years ahead of all megalopolises, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday. Fadnavis was speaking at the Tech Entrepreneurs Association of India event in Mumbai where he launched Mumbai Megapolis Metaverse. In conversation with Lokmat Media Editorial Director and Joint Managing Director Rishi Darda, Fadnavis revealed his vision for Mumbai and how it was conceptualized. “When I became the Chief Minister in 2014, I realized, talking to entrepreneurs and business heads, that Mumbai had become congested, unaffordable, and lacked world-class infrastructure. I got two opinions- one set wanted us to invest gradually and the other asked for a quantum leap. We decided to go with the second option. Between 2015 and 2019, as much as 30 billion dollars worth of projects were started,” Fadnavis said. Devendra Fadnavis is confident that the recently built Atal Setu, the 22 km Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, will transform Mumbai.

We are building a corridor around Mumbai. Look at it like this- we have a Bandra Worli Sea Link, Coastal Road that connects Worli to Nariman Point, and we are now in the process of building connectivity from Bandra to Versova, to Uttan to Virar on the western side We are also also building connectivity to Alibaug with Atal Setu. Soon, we can go from anywhere to anywhere in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region within 59 minutes,” Fadnavis said. Expounding on the Mumbai Metro project, Fadnavis said that a total of 375 km network was envisaged, of which 50 km was already operational while 50 km will be added very soon and the next 50 km will be operational in the six months after that. “Compare this to an 11 km Metro line that was built in 11 years. At present, Mumbai’s Suburban railway network carries approximately 9 million passengers every day. When completed, the Mumbai metro network will be carrying 9 million people additionally,” Fadnavis said.

Devendra Fadnavis had talked about Maharashtra having the most number of startups and unicorns in the country at the recently held Lokmat Maharashtrian of The Year Awards event. Rishi Darda asked him why do we not hear of any big tech parks coming to Mumbai or Maharashtra as often as as Bengaluru or Hyderabad. Why is it that we have the highest numbers of startups and unicorns, but VC money always goes to Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Rishi Darda asked. Fadnavis said that this would change soon in the coming years. “Amazon has made investments into one of their biggest data centers in Navi Mumbai. Google has started its office in Pune and we entered into an MOU for an AI project. We are in talks with three-four more global giants but I won’t reveal their names as we have huge competition. But in the future, you are going to hear more soon. Companies only want good governance and we are providing that,” Fadnavis said.

Rishi Darda asked Fadnavis to elaborate on the good governance and technology usage in it. Fadnavis offered an example of the scholarship scam that he had faced in the early years after he took over as chief minister. “We found that money was going to ghost accounts. We ensured Aadhar linkage and then the money started going only to the students. However, the principals complained they were not paying fees and spending the money elsewhere. So we created student’s wallets and then the money received by the students could only be sent to colleges. This ended 100 percent corruption in scholarship scam. This is the transparency that the technology brings. All our schemes are governed with the trinity mantra given by our PM-mobile, aadhar and Director Benefits Transfer,” Fadnavis said.

 

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