NCP demands white paper on MMRDA projects of 15 years

Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) tried to corner the Maharashtra state government in the Legislative Council by demanding a white paper on Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) projects.

Even as the NCP demanded that the state publish details of the actual estimated costs and increased costs of MMRDA projects, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan welcomed the demand and challenged the state government to publish a white paper.

NCP's group leader Sunil Tatkare said that the state government should a publish white paper on projects implemented and taken into consideration during last 15 years, while speaking on a calling attention motion about Mumbai metro railway fares, which were hiked by the company.

Minister of State for Urban Development Ranjeet Patil tried to convince the opposition by explaining that his government has taken up the issue with the Centre and has appointed a fare fixing committee as per Supreme Court directions.

Disappointed with the reply, Tatkare alleged that the state government is shielding Reliance Metro One which has "looted commuters" by hiking fares.

Referring to a written reply by the minister, Tatkare pointed that the actual estimate of Metro One was Rs 2,356 crore and later the cost was escalated to Rs 4,321 crore.

"How could the government allow project cost to escalate," Tatkare questioned, demanding that the state government must publish a white paper on MMRDA's last 15 years projects, their actual costs as well as escalated estimate.

However, the minister rejected Tatkare's demand and said that it is beyond the limit of issues which could be raised during calling the attention motion.

Meanwhile, former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who held the portfolio of urban development and was MMRDA chairman, welcomed NCP's demand on the white paper.

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