Nitin Gadkari: BMC has Rs 58,000 crore in bank, but Mumbai flooded every year

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari at the groundbreaking ceremony of a mangrove garden that will come up in Gorai. (Express photo: Amit Chakravarty)

Union Minister for Surface Transport and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Friday took a swipe at the Shiv Sena led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) saying that the civic body is sitting on a huge cash pile, but the city s monsoon woes persist.

The BMC has a fixed deposit of Rs 58,000 crore in bank. But every year we see Mumbai gets flooded, he said.

The BJP leader said that some global private company should be roped in to prepare a developmental plan to tackle the problems of Mumbai. It (the city) has huge coastal stretch which is ideal for waterways. A pollution-free water front in Mumbai can be achieved with help of a dedicated team of experts… In Venice (Italy) we often see how efficiently the water transport operates. I have a plan to bring water taxis to Mumbai. It is achievable, he said.

The Union minister claimed the clean, pollution-free seashore of Mauritius can be replicated in Mumbai as well. He added that the water taxis could operate between Vasai-Virar and Kalyan-Thane stretch once the Navi Mumbai International Airport was completed.

Referring to better transport system in his home turf in Vidarbha region, Gadkari said, I have decided to make five districts in the region diesel free. They will be replaced with non-conventional fuel operated taxis or e-taxis.

Gadkari made the remarks after performing bhumi pujan (groundbreaking ceremony) for a mangroves park in Gorai area. Gadkari s remarks on the BMC, however, did not gone well with its ally. A senior Sena leader, requesting anonymity, said, I am sure our party president Uddhav Thackeray will give a befitting reply to Gadkari.

The Sena leader added that the problems in Mumbai were complex and the civic body cannot be held responsible for the floods in city.