Hardening his government's position vis-a-vis the ownership of land in Kanjurmarg in Mumbai where the Metro 3 car shed project will be coming up, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the Centre was trying to stall development projects in the city.
In a webcast, Thackeray said a defamation campaign was run by "Maharashtra-haters" who tried to project the state as a hub for the drugs and narcotics farming.
He slammed the BJP for opposing the shifting of the metro car shed project to Kanjurmarg from the green lung Aarey Colony.
"Recently it was said that the land in Kanjurmarg where the (metro 3) car shed project was shifted to is a salt pan land...You are attempting to stall the development projects in Mumbai," Thackeray said while referring to the Centre's letter asking the state government not to go ahead with the project at the new location.
The state government and the BJP have been at loggerheads since Thackeray announced shifting of the metro car shed project last month.
Thackeray said a string of attempts were made to create hurdles in the development of the state, but they all came unstuck.
"Maharashtra-haters ran a defamation campaign against the state to malign its image. They tried to paint Maharashtra as a lawless state where farming of drugs and narcotic substances happens.
"But, the fact is that we received investments worth crores of rupees for which MoUs were signed, and now work would also start soon," said the chief minister who heads the tripartite government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
While MoUs worth Rs 17,000 crore were signed in June this year, deals of Rs 35,000 crore were inked recently, the CM added.
He said the new deals would generate employment opportunities in different sectors including electronics, logistics etc, for at least 23,182 people.
"In the next few years, Maharashtra will become the hub of logistics and data," the CM added.
Referring to recent floods and heavy rains in the state, Thackeray said crops on the area of 41 lakh hectares were damaged.
He said the state government promptly announced a relief package of Rs 10,000 crore to mitigate the hardships of farmers.
Thackeray also hailed the success of "My family, my responsibility" campaign against Covid-19 which was held between September 15 and October 24 in two phases.
He said 99 per cent of the population in the state was covered under the campaign.
"Our health workers covered 2.74 crore households and detected more than 51,000 Covid-19 patients," the CM said, adding that the drive may be relaunched in December.
Speaking on the gradual unlocking of various sectors and services, the CM said deliberations were being held with the Ministry of Railways for a resumption of suburban train services for all in Mumbai.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine