Power, industrialisation high on Maha CMs agenda in 2nd term

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Oct 26 2009, 06:54am hrs
Ashok Chavan, who has been retained by the Congress high command as the Maharashtra chief minister for a second stint, is quite focused on his priorities. In an exclusive telephonic interview with FE on Sunday, Chavan said the Congress-led government in the state will focus on expediting the capacity addition in the power sector, implementation of ongoing and new schemes to boost the financial sector and Mumbai to be developed as the international finance centre.

Chavan, who was industries minister earlier, says priority would be given on expediting the industrialisation process, especially in remote and underdeveloped regions. Chavan is expected to be sworn in as chief minister on October 27.

Chavan said the state has been reeling under power shortage of around 5,000 mw and his governments attempt would be to expedite the completion of ongoing power generation projects and also simultaneously encourage projects in the transmission and distribution sectors. The state energy department has already launched a Rs 60,000-crore investment plan that gives weightage to capacity addition with a proposed investment of over Rs 30,000 crore.

Besides, the Congress-led government during its third consecutive term would have to revisit the capacity addition of almost 12,500 mw by the private sector. Except a 1,200-mw power project by JSW in the coastal Raigad district, remaining projects of 10,000 mw have been caught up in issues relating to land acquisition and administrative approvals.

Chavan said his government would lay further emphasis on expediting the Mumbai makeover plan, which entails an investment of over Rs 55,000 crore. The Mumbai metro phase I and II are under implementation, while urban development ministry has offered to take equity for phase III. This apart, the government will take up on a priority basis development of Mumbai as an international finance centre and make it a world-class city, Chavan said.

On social issues, Chavan said his governments priorities include development of ongoing and new schemes for the welfare of minorities and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. For the families in the category of Below Poverty Line (BPL), the Congress-NCP combine in a joint manifesto has promised to provide special health cards to enable them to avail medical benefits.