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By Adv. Nalini Mishra
Editor & Director, Cafe Social

Maharashtra is known as the growth engine of India. Maharashtra’s infrastructure is giving horsepower to this growth engine. Today, I am proud to say that the maximum infrastructure work is being done in Maharashtra. During my tenure as Chief Minister, game changer projects like Samruddhi Mahamarg, Atal Setu, Coastal Road were launched.

We all love fast-paced things. Whether it is a journey or a decision. I have been working with this concept since I was the Urban Development Minister. We have made a sincere effort to facilitate time-saving travel for the citizens of Mumbai and the metropolitan region. When the tourists going abroad appreciate the infrastructure there, then our efforts to provide similar facilities to the citizens get a boost.

Now we also have the longest sea bridge in the country and it is also saving time and fuel of many people every day. The world’s longest underwater tunnel has been completed at Pune’s Missing Link. One lane of Coastal Road has been started. We are trying to speed up important infrastructure projects of the state.
Record development works worth Rs 8 lakh 35 thousand crores are underway in the state. A provision of Rs 53,057 crore has been made in the budget for these projects.

All the work is being done within the stipulated time frame. There is strong support from the central government. International financial institutions are also lending a helping hand to complete the projects. Moreover, the double engine government has increased the credibility of the state. We are trying to complete all the work on time.

Infrastructure projects in Maharashtra and the pace of development of the state are complementary to each other. Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg is a great example of this. The Samruddhi Highway will be a lucky line for the prosperity of the entire state, including Vidarbha and Marathwada.

The third phase of the project will be completed soon. The Samruddhi Highway between Bharwir to Igatpuri is now open. The Prosperity Highway extends to Gadchiroli, Bhandara, Gondia. Mumbai Metro 3, Pune Metro, Mumbai-Pune missing link will be inaugurated soon. We are building the Nagpur-Goa Shaktipeeth highway, the Konkan coastal road, the Konkan expressway and a grid of seven thousand km long roads in Maharashtra. So, we are connecting.

We provide easy transportation from one end to the other. Work on the Virar-Alibaug multimodal corridor is also being given a boost. The Sindhudurg-Reddy and Rewas-Reddy-Sindhudurg highways are being constructed. Concerted and comprehensive efforts are being made to strengthen the infrastructure not only in the metros of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Nashik but also in the villages of the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has consciously given impetus to the expansion of railway lines along with this infrastructure in Maharashtra. Special support is also being received from the Centre for the expansion of the railway network in the state.

For this, 12 times more funds were provided in this year’s Union Budget as compared to 2009-2014. This is a substantial provision of about Rs 13,539 crore. Maharashtra has also received seven new trains in the Vande Bharat category. Notably, the Vande Bharat trains will be manufactured at the company’s Latur facility. At present, about 1 lakh 7 thousand crore rupees work is in progress in the state through the railways. A record amount of Rs 15,554 crore has been allocated to Maharashtra in this year’s budget. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.

The Prime Minister recently inaugurated the country’s longest sea bridge. Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri Nhava Sheva Sagar Setu (Atal Setu) will connect Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune and Goa. This bridge has taken the transport infrastructure of the MMR region to new heights in a very short span of time. The distance that used to take Mumbaikars two hours to reach Raigad district has now been reduced to just 20 minutes due to Atal Setu.

Modern technology has been used in the construction of this bridge. Since it uses a steel deck, it carrying capacity is high. All precautions have been taken to protect the environment while constructing the bridge.

The south lane of the Coastal Road, which was built to relieve the traffic of Mumbaikars, has been opened. We have decided to name the coastal road after Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. The coastal road will help save about 70 per cent of time and 34 per cent of fuel. It will also help in reducing pollution and improving the quality of life of Mumbaikars. At the same time, the 337 km long metro network in Mumbai is being started in a phased manner. The rest of the metro routes will also be operational in the next two to three years. It is estimated that Metro connectivity will reduce at least 30 to 35 lakh vehicles on the roads of MMR. This will save time of the passengers. They can travel comfortably. This will reduce pollution and save fuel.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today dedicated the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri Nhava Sheva Sea Bridge to the nation. I am happy to share that the longest (22 km) sea bridge in the country is in Maharashtra. It will connect Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune and Goa. This bridge has taken the transport infrastructure of the MMR region to new heights in a very short span of time. At present, it takes two hours for Mumbaikars to go to Raigad district, now this distance has been reduced to just 20 minutes due to Atal Setu. Modern technology has been used in the construction of this bridge. Since it uses a steel deck, its carrying capacity is high. All precautions have been taken to protect the environment while constructing the bridge.

Mumbai is growing fast. For this, MMRDA has implemented many strategic plans. These include roads, bridges, culverts, bridges and more. Many of these projects have been completed and many more are in the pipeline. Mumbai is being transformed through the help of Mumbai Municipal Corporation, MMRDA, Cidco and all such agencies. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project is nearing completion. I am confident that very soon the work on the bullet train will be completed and India’s first bullet train will start running.

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is known as the lifeline of Maharashtra. We have taken steps to provide environment-friendly, air-conditioned and cost-effective passenger services through STs. 5000 buses of ST are being converted from diesel to LNG. Bus service has also been started. We see e-bus service as an environment friendly and need of the hour and have given it the highest priority.

Due to the two revolutionary decisions of our government, ST is again having good days. During the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, we have made ST travel free for all the citizens of the state who have completed 75 years. Today, by becoming ST Shravanbala, the journey to the pilgrimage centers of the state is being made possible for the elderly. Women will be given 50 per cent concession in bus tickets. This has made transportation cheaper. This has directly benefited the common women especially in rural and semi-urban areas. In fact, economic empowerment of women has become the mainstay.

Maharashtra is the centre of attraction for the industry sector in the country and the world. Maharashtra is preferred for investment and employment generation due to its strong infrastructure network and skilled manpower. If the infrastructure is strong, foreign investors are also attracted there. During the last two-and-a-half years of the government, Maharashtra was pushed to the second and third positions in foreign investment. Gujarat and Karnataka had also left us behind. However, in the last year, the state has once again jumped to the first position. I am also proud that today Maharashtra is number one in foreign investment.

Mr. Eknath Sambhaji Shinde, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, is a prominent political figure known for his organizational skills, bold decisions, and unwavering loyalty. His political journey began with his election as the House Leader in Thane Municipal Corporation in 2001, a position he held until 2004. Demonstrating strong grassroots support and influence by Shiv Sena leaders Balasaheb Thackeray and Anand Dighe, Shinde has maintained simplicity, loyalty, and honesty throughout his career.

He has been elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in four consecutive elections (2004, 2009, 2014, 2019) from the Kopri-Pachpakkhadi constituency in Thane. His son, Dr. Srikant Shinde, also follows in his footsteps, serving as a two-time MP from Kalyan. As Chief Minister, Shinde has launched numerous initiatives, including doubling NDRF aid for heavy rain victims, extending aid to farmers, declaring incessant rain a natural calamity, and providing Rs. 6,000 to farmers under the Namo Shetkari Mahasanman Yojana.

He has implemented a new sand policy, established the Maharashtra Gosewa Commission, and launched Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan in 5,000 villages. Shinde’s efforts also include the Har Ghar Water project, the re-establishment of Statutory Development Boards, the Mumbai Metro lines 2A and 3, and the concreting of 400 km of roads in Mumbai. Additionally, he has secured significant investment commitments, initiated the Independent Disability Welfare Department, and launched various social welfare schemes, reflecting his dedication to Maharashtra’s development and empowerment.

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