Mumbai won't ape Shanghai; will follow own growth model: CM

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said that Mumbai would follow its own development model and there was no need to model it on the lines of Shanghai or Tokyo.

He was addressing a press conference to talk about the 'Mumbai Next: MMR Transformation' initiative to transform the Mumbai Metropolitan Region into a global financial, commercial and entertainment hub in partnership with Mumbai First, a body that promotes and supports policy for the betterment of Mumbai.

Bombay of course was once all these things, before increasingly parochial and narrow-minded governments – including the last Congress-NCP administration and before it the Shiv Sena-BJP which is back in power – changed its image, by among other things, sending hockey-stick wielding cops to break up private parties and arrest youngsters on flimsy grounds, as well as imposing prohibitive taxes and rules on public entertainment.

The conference will be held on Friday 6 February, and will see the participation of eminent business, entertainment, and media leaders along with important government officials.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, his junior minister. Jayant Sinha, Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry, Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani, and Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan are among those who will participate. A senior World Bank delegation and the EU ambassador to India have also confirmed their attendance.

The conference will see stakeholders across sectors such as infrastructure, banking, finance and urban development discuss key challenges faced by MMR and the steps that are required for moving rapidly ahead - decisions that need to be taken and finance requirements for speedier execution of various priority projects.

Addressing a press conference, Fadnavis said, "Being Mumbai is the soul of this city and there is no need for making Mumbai a Shanghai or Tokyo."

He said that the chief minister's office has created a separate cell dedicated to monitor six major infrastructure projects for Mumbai which would bring about this transformation. The initiative would be undertaken with close partnership of NGP Mumbai First and the departments concerned of the state government and the BMC, MMRDA, CIDCO, MHADA etc and the cell in his office would monitor the coordination between all the agencies, he added.

Saying there are no less than 27 reports by various agencies which detail the potential of MMR, Fadnavis said a World Bank report has pointed out that MMR has a potential of $40-50 billion income. He said that Mumbai Next was aimed at transforming not just Mumbai but its entire surrounding area - the metropolitan region - into a global financial, commercial and entertainment hub.