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Mumbai Coastal Road inauguration put off till Monday

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Mumbai, March 9

The Mumbai Coastal Road project’s phase one is partly ready for inauguration, but getting delayed ostensibly as VIPs are reportedly ‘unavailable’ owing to multiple reasons, officials said here on Saturday.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde was scheduled to cut the ribbon today (March 9) throwing open the north-south arm, but it has been postponed to March 11 as the other MahaYuti alliance leaders are said to be busy in the Lok Sabha seat-sharing talks.

In January, when Shinde went on a tour of the swank new road including the tunnel, he had announced that one lane from Worli to Chowpatty would be operational by that month-end, but it didn’t happen.

Later, there was speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would inaugurate it, either in person or remotely, but he is tied up in the poll campaign, and another date was set for March 9, with the official invitations also printed and distributed.

Even this has been pushed back by two days till Monday (March 11), though the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) remains non-committal on whether the inaugural will actually take place that day.

In case the government misses the date again, then uncertainty stares at the starting of the MCR in view of the Model Code of Conduct that may be implemented anytime next week.

However, civic officials have confidently announced that phase one will be fully completed by May, comprising the two lanes from Marine Drive to Worli and other facilities coming up in the vicinity, which will slash travel time from the current one hour to barely 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, the delays in making mega-projects available for public use has evoked sharp criticism from the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi top functionaries like Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Sanjay Raut, Aditya Thackeray, Kishore Tiwari, Congress’ Nana Patole and M. Arif Naseem Khan, Nationalist Congress Party (SP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leaders.

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