Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari expressed his apathy towards the Indian Navy on January 11 for allegedly “obstructing” a floating jetty project at Nariman Point, Mumbai. Expressing his wonder at most of the naval officers residing in the posh south Mumbai area, Gadkari promised that “not an inch” would any more be given to Indian Naval Forces for building flats and quarters.
Speaking at a public event in Mumbai, which vouched the presence of Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, the minister said:
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.
It is to be remembered that this sudden outburst comes in the view of Indian Navy’s refusal to the construction of a floating jetty as a floating hotel and seaplane service are already being planned at the same area in Malabar Hill, Mumbai.
The Union Transport Minister did not stop there and continued voicing his disgust with the Indian Navy, for whom stopping such developmental work has become a habit. He also said that the area is primarily a residential area, with the residences of the Maharashtra CM and the governor, and Navy should not have anything to do with the area at all.
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.
#WATCH: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari says, 'Navy is needed at the borders, from where terrorists come, why does everyone (in Navy) want to live in South Mumbai? They came to me asking for a plot, I said I will not give even an inch of land.' pic.twitter.com/45gQDlbcBP
— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2018
It is to be noted that the Bombay High Court did not give any green signal to the construction of a floating hotel at the Nariman Point on the grounds that it did not have a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Western Naval Command. The bench of judges came up with the statement:
The Western Naval Command had never granted NOC for erection of the floating hotel. All that their letter records is that the safety and security issues will have to be examined first.
Even the Coast Guard in its letter says that a security audit will have to be carried out first before permission is granted for construction of a floating hotel and jetty.