The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) was set up 37 years ago to build and develop roads and flyovers across the state. But of late, the government agency seems more keen to set up F1 tracks and low-cost homes instead of focusing on the deplorable condition of roads in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra.
Its latest plan for a low cost housing project and a Formula 1 racing track has been criticised by transport experts who say that MSRDC should concentrate on road-related projects. It should be noted that MSRDC which has already faced criticism for these projects from all quarters has made a provision of around Rs 30 crore in its current budget.
Speaking to SUNDAY MiD DAY, Transport Expert Jitendra Gupta said, “Rather than diverting the attention towards projects like low-cost housing and F1 track, MSRDC should concentrate on building roads and bridges. There are agencies, which focus on developing low cost housing and MSRDC should not enter that area. There are many roads in the state, which are maintained by MSRDC and those roads are in bad shape. The MSRDC should first maintain them.”
The MSRDC has recently announced plans to construct a residential complex under the public housing (low-cost housing) scheme at Lodhivali, in Panvel. When asked about this, a senior MSRDC official said, “Some of our seniors feel that MSRDC can construct affordable houses, so we have plans of coming up with a low-cost housing complex. We also have a proposal to build a Formula 1 race track in the state. In this year’s budget we have made a provision of around R30 crore for the same.”
Another leading transport expert, who did not wish to be named, felt that by constructing a F1 track, MSRDC will only be encouraging rash driving. “There are various places in the city where the need of the hour is a good footpath. MSRDC should concentrate on constructing pedestrian-friendly footpaths and FOBs,” he said.
The MSRDC was formed in 1976 to construct good quality roads and flyovers in the state in the interests of safer and faster transportation. Its recent plans however, includes a theme park near Pune, an air ambulance, a business park and educational institutes on either side of the Mumbai Pune Expressway and near Panvel.