New Delhi: Shiv Sena on Saturday took potshots at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over the Mahad tragedy, saying he should stop aerial visits to mishap sites and demanded Guardian ministers be barred from flying inside the state to understand its road and bridge conditions. The Sena also said the present government’s ambitious ‘Make in Maharashtra’ programme should begin with construction of good quality roads and bridges, in the absence of which no foreign nation would be willing to invest there.
“Instead of indulging in blame game and only conducting meetings to gauge the Mahad tragedy, what is needed is to give a serious thought over the issue. Also, if the CM really wants to understand the situation of roads and bridges in the state and conduct a proper audit, he, along with other ministers need to shun planes and helicopters while touring the state,” the party said in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. “District Guardian ministers should not be given permission to fly to their respective districts. Let them travel by dilapidated roads and bridges and then conduct an audit. Because, when ministers fear for their lives, audit and repairs, both shall take place,” it said.
It further said that if in a progressive state like Maharashtra, a large number of people lose their lives in natural calamities, the government needs to change the structure of its ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make in Maharashtra’ programme. “Start your ‘Make in Maharashtra’ programme by fixing old and dilapidated bridges. Unless you construct proper roads, do not expect foreign nations to invest money here,” it said.
Also, if there was a strong government in the state from the last two years, what did it do to prevent this tragedy, it asked. Eight more bodies were recovered yesterday during search operation in the Savitri river, where two state-run buses and some private vehicles were swept away after a British-era bridge collapsed in Mahad, taking the toll in the tragedy to 22.
Meanwhile, Opposition Congress slammed the “double standards” of Sena over the Mahad tragedy and said before the advising the BJP to fix bridges and roads in the state, it should do so first in Mumbai. “Sena’s corruption in the BMC has resulted in thousands of potholes across the city where people are losing lives. Sure, it can play the role of a big brother by advising the BJP but it should also play the role of a responsible brother and fix roads bridges in the city and not play with the lives of people for monetary gains,” Congress spokesperson Al-Nasser Zakaria said.