Go to Pak Border, Not an Inch For Navy in South Mumbai: Gadkari

“The navy and the defence ministry are not the government,” said Nitin Gadkari, slamming the navy.

2 min read
Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Jairam Gadkari. 

Union Minister for Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari on Thursday, 11 January, took a dig at the Navy for opposing the construction of a floating jetty at Mumbai's Nariman Point.

Slamming the Navy for obstructing "development projects", Gadkari asked where was the Navy in South Mumbai and why they were creating "roadblocks", reported Times of India.

Actually, Navy is needed at the borders from where terrorists sneak in. Why does everyone (in the Navy) want to stay in South Mumbai? They (Navy) had come to me, asking for a plot (of land). I will not give even an inch of land. Please don’t come to me again.
Nitin Gadkari

Speaking at a public event in Mumbai, in presence of Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Gadkari expressed his displeasure at the “obstruction” of the jetty, where a floating hotel and seaplane service are also planned.

Everyone wants to build quarters and flats on south Mumbai’s prime land. We do respect you (Navy), but you should go to the Pakistan border and do patrolling.

A few important and senior officials can stay in Mumbai, Gadkari said, adding that land on the eastern seafront being jointly developed by the state-run Mumbai Port Trust and the Maharashtra government would be utilised only for the benefit of local citizens.

South Mumbai is home to a sizeable presence of the Navy and houses the headquarters of the Western Naval Command, as well as the naval residential quarters at Navy Nagar in Colaba in south Mumbai.

Claiming that stopping such developmental work has become a habit, Gadkari wondered what has the Navy got to do with the Malabar Hill area which is primarily a private residential zone also having official residences of Maharashtra governor and chief minister.

Inviting the Navy to resolve the issue, Gadkari said:

Where is the Navy at Malabar Hill? There is no Navy at Malabar Hill and the Navy has nothing to do in the area.

Gadkari said he chairs a committee for stalled infrastructure projects, adding that projects are cleared "as soon as they come on the agenda".

"We are the government. The Navy and the Defence Ministry are not the government," Gadkari said.

(With inputs from PTI, Times of India)

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