Mumbai: Ever since Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has stalled work on the ongoing metro projects, the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been at loggerheads.
Accusing the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of extortion, the deputy chief of the party in the state, Kirit Somaiya, said on Saturday, the government's order to stay the metro work was an attempt to send out a message to the contractors, demanding 'protection money'.
“The CM has ordered a stay on the ongoing metro projects at Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane. The government has initiated such action to create pressure on the contractors, in order to extort money from them,” said Somaiya.
Staying the project will cause delay in its completion, which will lead to an increase in logistical costs of the contractors and agencies appointed for the project. Thereby, contractors will be compelled to accede to the demands of the MVA government, to cut their losses.
“The stay order is an attempt to arm-twist the contractors. This government is delaying the works for its own benefit and ordinary Mumbaikars are being harassed,” he added.
Somaiya had been at the forefront of those opposing the stay on metro work. Labelling the decision as 'illogical' and 'illegal', he stated, the authorities had also committed to the court not a single tree would be cut to carry out the remaining work, hence there was no explanation for the the real reason for the stay.
“The metro corridor project is worth Rs 23,000 crore and the delay will only escalate the cost. If there is no alternative site, then it clearly means the project is in jeopardy,” he said.
Earlier, the BJP leader Ashish Shelar had also accused the MVA government and civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) of favouring the contractor lobby.
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