Don't Ask For Land In Malabar Hill, Go To Pakistan Border: Nitin Gadkari To Indian Navy
Union Minister for Shipping and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari on Thursday criticised the Indian Navy officers at an event for international cruise terminal. He allegedly denied permission to a floating jetty project on Malabar Hill in Mumbai and accused them of causing hindrance in the construction work in the area, NDTV reported
In his statement, the minister said that it was not jetty that caused a security risk, “What has the navy got to do with Malabar Hill? They should be guarding the borders.”
“Navy is needed at the borders from where terrorists sneak in. Why does everyone (in the navy) want to stay in South Mumbai? They had come to me, asking for a plot I will not give even an inch of land. Please don’t come to me again,” as quoted by Hindustan times.
He made these remarks in the presence of Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra.
He further said, “Everyone wants to build quarters and flats on South Mumbai’s prime land. We do respect you (navy), but you should go to the Pakistan border and do patrolling.”
Land to be used for citizens
He backed his statement by saying that a few important and senior officials could stay in Mumbai. However, the land would be utilised solely for the benefit of the citizens as it was jointly developed by the state-run Mumbai Port and the Maharashtra government.
South Mumbai already accommodates sizeable Navy Officers, headquarters of the Western Naval Command as well as the naval residential quarters at Navy Nagar in Colaba.
Berths of naval ships are at a proximity to the Port Trust used by merchant ships. Over a period, a lot of cargo handling has moved out of the Mumbai Port, one of the oldest ports in the country.
“I heard that you (navy) gave a stay to the floating jetty plan at Malabar Hill, despite the High Court’s nod. Where is the navy at Malabar Hill? There is no navy at Malabar Hill, and the Navy has nothing to do in the area,” Gadkari said, inviting the navy to resolve the issue.
Being the chair of a committee for stalled infrastructure projects, he said that the projects would be cleared “as soon as they come on the agenda”. “We are the government. The navy and the defence minister are not the government.”
Reportedly, The statement is seen a resentment from Gadkari, after the decline of the permission to the project by Western Naval command, the Minister had planned to promote tourism in South Mumbai. Recently, Bombay high court had rejected the project for the construction of the jetty by a private company as it did not have the no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Western Naval Command.