More reports on: Economy - general

Mahindra, Ratan Tata bemoan Mumbai's crumbling infrastructure

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22 February 2018

Mumbai's crumbling infrastructure could dissuade potential investors from the financial capital, Mahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra said at an event in the city on Wednesday.

''If Mumbai, the 'crown jewel', continues to groan under its weight, it will drive away investors,'' Mahindra said, addressing the 'Magnetic Maharashtra' Global Investors Summit in the suburb of Bandra.

Mahindra's remarks, directed at Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who was present along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were in marked contrast to the laudatory comments he made at a similar event in Uttar Pradesh on the same day, where he praised UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's efforts to uplift the state, and promised investments there.

Though Maharashtra under Fadnavis received praise from many Indian and global corporate leaders at the event, there were other naysayers besides Mahindra.

Industry doyen Ratan Tata too lamented the state of Mumbai's infrastructure. Facilities on the ground may not be keeping up with the state's faster economic growth, Tata said.

Tata, former chairman of Tata Sons, who spoke before Mahindra did, said it was unfortunate that the infrastructure has not been able to keep pace with the growth, but added that things are changing since the BJP-led dispensation has assumed power.

''Unfortunately, over the years, industrial growth in Maharashtra has exceeded the ability of the state to provide infrastructure to support this,'' he said.

Mahindra further said, ''If the city begins to grow under its own weight and mismanages growth, then you may just as well turn away investors.

''Apart from the promise of rural consumption growth, this state (Maharashtra) has a 'bramhastra'. Cities are gateways to a state; they are the showcase of the ability of a country to execute our vision of the future. Mumbai is the most commercially exciting, robust city in the country. It is a jewel in your crown. But it is a double-edged sword,'' he said.

''Unfortunately, over the years, industrial growth in Maharashtra has exceeded the ability of the state to provide infrastructure to support it.''

Industry leaders including Chanda Kochhar, Adi Godrej, Baba Kalyani, Mukesh Ambani, Ajit Gulabchand, Anil Agarwal, Richard Branson, Deepak Parekh, Sajjan Jindal and ministers Piyush Goyal and Suresh Prabhu were present.





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