The Navy’s refusal to allow the building of a jetty on grounds of security does not seem to have gone down well with Mr Nitin Gadkari. Mr Nitin Gadkari who holds Shipping & Water Resources among his bunch of portfolios had wanted to optimize Mumbai’s waterways in accordance with the vision held by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. In that context, on seeking permission for starting a floatel and seaplane service, he was refused by the Navy who obtained an order to that effect from the Bombay High Court.
Mr Nitin Gadkari felt that by refusing to grant permission the Navy was putting a spoke in the country’s developmental projects and in retaliation point blank refused granting of land to the Navy in the elite area of South Mumbai.
In his address to the Navy, while putting the foundation stone for a foreign-based cruise terminal in the city, he flared-up declaring that they were the government and not the Navy and defense ministry. He talked about the affinity of all for staying in the posh South Mumbai area of the city. With due respects, he directed the Navy to do patrolling on the borders of Pakistan rather than building quarters on the asked for plot of land.
The address was attended by Western Naval Command Chief, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra along with other senior officials.
Considering the satiation of land routes and the enormous expenses needed for their expansion, Narendra Modi’s Government planned to optimize the waterways of the country. Narendra Modi had disclosed his vision on these lines during the Gujarat elections as he left the region in a seaplane, which took off from the Sabarmati River.
Mr Gadkari disclosed his plans of operating 10,000 seaplanes over the next two years in the country. Will the refusal for the ferry project prove a roadblock to the Prime Minister’s vision? It is going to be a wait and watch scenario.