The next 100-day agenda for Prithviraj Chavan, the CM of Maharashtra (Part I)

In his first 100 days in office, the Maharashtra chief minister may have got a feel of what it is like to be at the helm of affairs in the state. Now he must set the priorities on issues that can make a difference to the life of people, especially in Mumbai

A fortnight ago Maharashtra's new chief minister Prithviraj Chavan completed 100 days in office. For a person who has been in the Delhi Darbar for most of his political career, political pulls and pushes in Maharashtra and Mantralaya can be a strange environment. He is there because of his clean and fresh image and because the high command so desired it in the aftermath of the Adarsh scam. Now that he is here holding the reigns, he has to show his mettle by giving direction to the government and the party, that the clean image comes with strength of conviction, that such conviction has political support within the state and is not dependent upon the Delhi links alone. With the completion of a hundred days, it is assumed that he has had a fair first hand measure of various parameters governing the polity of Maharashtra, and Mumbai in particular, and that he can set targets for his next 100 days.

To begin with, let us briefly see what all his government is credited with doing in the past 100-odd days. The most current topic is the proposed nuclear power plant at Jaitapur, near Ratnagiri, on the Konkan coast. The proposed plant with six units of 1,650MW capacity, is expected to render load shedding to history by 2012, going by the reported recent speech of the chief minister in Pune, when he gave an idea of what he considers or what his bureaucrats think need to be priority items on his agenda.

According to the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) has been given the green signal after the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) assured it would incorporate and fulfill all environment-related issues with regard to the project. The first unit is expected to be ready not before 2017 and all the six units in about 18 years!

Mr Chavan's meeting with environment minister Jairam Ramesh was attributed to the clearance issue. The same is being said about the clearance for the Navi Mumbai airport project and special treatment for Mumbai with respect to the Coastal Regulatory Zone Notification 2011. All these project proposals have been scrutinised by the MoEF and in the process, have undergone necessary changes before getting conditional clearances. It is just a coincidence that these have happened after Mr Chavan took over at the helm of affairs in Maharashtra. What we must see is whether he sets up monitoring mechanisms sought by the MoEF to ensure enforcement of environmental preconditions.

In his speech in Pune, the chief minister is reported to have given priority to health, education, roads, electricity and the automotive industry. These are too broad and need to be focused, considering that considerable moneys would be invested. Periods of implementation of required capacities also need to be included in the criteria determining priorities. Environmental concerns too need to be considered, which apparently has not been done when one gives the entire automotive industry priority status. The printer's devil seems to have played a trick when Mr Chavan is reported to have said that by 2012, when the first unit of JNPP will have been commissioned, load shedding would be history, while the NPCIL has stated that it will be ready not before 2017.

Given that Maharashtra is in close competition in urbanisation with Tamil Nadu and most of the problems lie in these habitats of human concentrations, a lot of attention needs to be given here. We shall in this column take up issue after issue, city after city, not restricting to Maharashtra. However, I would like to give a roadmap to the Maharashtra chief minister and hope that he will find merit in it and follow it up vigorously.

The focus will naturally be Mumbai, as the city with its 145 lakh population is set for a major transformation with so many of its infrastructure projects already underway and many about to commence. We have the Metro Rail, the Monorail, MUTP, MUIP, the Sea Links, the Railways and BRTS with different agencies like the Municipal Corporation, MMRDA, MSRDC, PWD, BEST and the Traffic Police, with or without public private partnership (PPP) on the transportation front. What has happened to the setting up of the Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transportation Authority (UMMTA) that would co-ordinate inter-related projects among various agencies? Transportation and housing go hand in hand and the desire to make Mumbai slum-free can get converted into reality only if planned along with transportation plans. We need to keep in mind two important aspects while designing and implementing these projects. These are environmental issues affecting health on the one side and global warming on the other. The second issue is designing the system in anticipation of disasters to mitigate it and manage it.

The MoEF has mandated that environmental concerns are monitored and for this it wants state governments to set up mechanisms. How these have progressed and how these have been effective will also be covered in this column. We have not heard the last of JNPP, or of the CRZ Notification 2011, or the Navi Mumbai airport, and load shedding. There is plenty on the plate and hopefully these will be ingested by the authorities and digested, leading to better quality of life for one and all. Many will not agree with what I propose, but only by debating different viewpoints can there emerge an acceptable solution. Yes, the culture of public consultations must be ushered in. I look forward to sharing my thoughts in the coming weeks and an exciting interaction.

[This is the first part of a series by Sudhir Badami. To read the second part, click 'The next 100-day agenda for Prithviraj Chavan, the CM of Maharashtra (Part II)'.]

(Sudhir Badami is a civil engineer and transportation analyst. He is on the Government of Maharashtra's Steering Committee on Bus Rapid Transit System-BRTS-for Mumbai as well as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's technical advisory committee on BRTS for Mumbai. He is also a member of Research & MIS Committee of the Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transport Authority. He was a member of the Bombay High Court-appointed erstwhile Road Monitoring Committee (2006-07). He has been an active campaigner against noise pollution for over a decade and is a strong believer in a functioning democracy. He can be contacted on email at [email protected])



Sudhir Badami

6 years ago

There was an off line conversation with one of the readers. With her consent, I am posting this conversation:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sudhir Badami 10 सुधीर बदामी
Date: 2011/3/8
Subject: Fwd: About your article in money life
To: Sudhir Badami

2011/3/7 Ashwini wrote:

I\'m glad to know you are willing consider pros and cons of JNPP, but quick reading of your article does give a mis-leading impression as you do not pose any questions about the CM\'s promise (if at all its based on JNPP, as that is only impression that one gets). Common readers do not ponder much over finer issues and easily jump to conclusions. Since JNPP is a controversial project, more care should be taken to ensure that both aspects of the argument (for and against) are adequately represented.
In any case load shedding may actually become much less severe if not history by 2012, but that will be because of other coal based capacity contracted by MSEDCL coming online during this period.


2011/3/6 Sudhir Badami 10 सुधीर बदामी
Dear Ms Ashwini,

You seem to have jumped to conclusion that I whole heartedly support JNPP by citing one paragraph (sentence). In the process not read the following paragraphs. I am not only a Civil / Structural Engineer, but have worked on process plants, power plants and similar industrial projects as a design engineer. I am quite aware that for Nuclear power projects, especially one of such capacity (of single unit) never before executed, even if land and material and power supply constraints did not exist, the time taken would be as much as 5 to 7 years. If you go through all the paragraphs on Jaitapur NPP, what emerges is that the CM may have said that the first unit when ready in 2012 will ensure that there is no load shedding. This may e either due to \'printer\'s devil [ 2017 and 2012 written by hand could be the reason] or a statement made purposely to get people to give up their opposition or govt bulldozing people\'s opposition. I hope that is what emerges. I do intend taking up this project in it appropriate perspective once I go through various documents provided by NPCIL/GoM and the opposition argument.

This article is a precursor to giving a priority list to the CM. There after take up each and every item on the priority list, reason out why and try to monitor progress.


Sudhir Badami

On 5 March 2011 14:20, Ashwini wrote:
Dear Mr. Badami,

Your article in money life
talks very positively about Jaitapr nuclear power project. Below is an excerpt from you article in this regard:
\"To begin with, let us briefly see what all his government is credited with doing in the past 100-odd days. The most current topic is the proposed nuclear power plant at Jaitapur, near Ratnagiri, on the Konkan coast. The proposed plant with six units of 1,650MW capacity, is expected to render load shedding to history by 2012, going by the reported recent speech of the chief minister in Pune, when he gave an idea of what he considers or what his bureaucrats think need to be priority items on his agenda.\"
This is an entirely false and mis-leading statement. How can a plant, for which even land acquisition has not been completed be operational in less than 2 years? Being a civil engineer, one would have imagined that you could make at least an intelligent guess about the time it takes to construct a nuclear power plant, even if we leave aside the controversial aspects of land acquisition and EPR\'s technological woes...further it is not clear what makes you think that power from this plant, if at the plant ever becomes operational, will be available for Maharashtra?
It is no where clearly mentioned how the power from this plant is going to be allocated to various states and how much is Maharashtra\'s share.
You may like to verify factual correctness of the statements you make before you quote them next time.



Sudhir Badami

+91 98216 85072
Email ID: [email protected], [email protected]

*** My Website


6 years ago

In next 100 days, Bandra slum burned and thousands become homeless, disaster management failed, Jaitapur Power Project - It could have shifted to backward region like Vidharba to overcome development backlog. Sand mining ban and various infra project delays. All infra project in Mumbai a stand still due to various reason. No coordination, lack of will and corruption, shortage of sand, payment delay to contractors, as major cause. e-governance - not a single word. What is going to do in next 100 days. Let us wait and watch.

Rajan Manchanda

6 years ago


Should have a website where residents of each city can post their suggestions / complaints / griviences.It is the people who can give the best suggestions (without cost) Although preferably each Minister should invite comments on their websites.The suggestions must be acknowledged and reply posted by the concerned ministers. For every proposal accepted, the progress report should be posted.

For example, news papers have reported that there is no place to put up police stations and there is a discussion to shut 5 police stations. Do we need a consultant for advise ? To my mind there are several alternatives to resolve this issue. If one could post their suggestions on the police commisioners website , several remedies would be found.

Nagesh KiniFCA

6 years ago

Prithivi Chavan is 100 not out!
Maharashtra has slipped down after Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and Mumbai after Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
Jaitapur TPP will affect our alponso crops, so eat that you want before they are contanimated or vanish. MoEF has to get up and stop this as it had done in AP.


6 years ago

Here we have a CM who does not know when his pet-project will be completing . In the recent visit to Jaitapur, the CM along with his cronies like Rane , Patil tried to win over people in Jaitapur claiming " phoren hand " in delaying project .

I guess the important agenda for CM in next 100 days , is to remain CM . :))

Crude holds the key for Indian market: Friday Market Preview

Overnight, Wall Street closed at its best in three months, boosted by strong economic indicators and signs of a possible resolution to the Libyan crisis. Tracking the US markets, the Asian pack was higher in early trade on Friday
A retreat in crude prices, along with positive cues from the global markets, indicates a green opening for the Indian market. Overnight, Wall Street closed at its best in three months, boosted by strong economic indicators and signs of a possible resolution to the Libyan crisis. Tracking the US markets, the Asian pack was higher in early trade on Friday. The SGX Nifty was 40 points higher at 5,594 compared to its previous close of 5,554.

The local market opened in the red on Thursday as concerns about high crude prices led investors to book profits early in the day. Yesterday’s trading session was an extremely volatile one. The Sensex and Nifty opened gap down at 18,318 and 5,478, respectively. During the initial hours of trading, the market fell to its intra-day low of 18,254 and 5,468. However, both the indices hit intra-day highs of 18,604 and 5,571, reacting to the news that the Libyan situation is likely to reach a peaceful solution. A sharp sell-off, however, followed immediately and the market went into the red in the afternoon. Eventually, the Sensex closed 43 points up at 18,490, while the Nifty rose 14 points to 5,536.

Markets in the US closed at their best in three months on strong economic data and signs of a possible solution to the Libyan crisis. Initial jobless claims fell by 20,000 to 368,000 in the week ended 26th February, beating analysts’ expectations of a rise to 395,000. The total number of people receiving unemployment insurance fell to the lowest level since October 2008. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing businesses rose to 59.7, the highest level since August 2005, from 59.4 in the previous month.

This apart, same-store sales rose 4.3% last month, as compared to forecasts of a gain of 3.8%, the 18th straight monthly gain from September 2009.

The Dow surged 191.40 points (1.59%) at 12,258.20. The S&P 500 gained 22.53 points (1.72%) at 1,330.97. The Dow and S&P 500 posted their biggest one-day gains since 1st December. The Nasdaq rose 50.67 points (1.84%) at 2,798.74.

Markets in Asia were in the green in early trade today on cues from the US markets and a retreat in crude prices. The European Central Bank indications of a hike in interest rates next month and speculations of a possible solution to the Libyan crisis also boosted investor sentiments.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.05%, the Hang Seng surged 1.12%, the Jakarta Composite gained 0.86%, the KLSE Composite advanced 0.94%, Nikkei 225 jumped 1.56%, the Straits Times was 1.06%, the Seoul Composite gained 1.14% and the Taiwan Weighted rose 0.81%.

Back home, the government may consider giving approval to the London-listed mining group Vedanta Resources’ $9.6 billion acquisition of Cairn India next week, oil minister S Jaipal Reddy said yesterday.

Mr Reddy said his ministry had last week circulated a Cabinet note listing issues for approval.

Vedanta had on 16th August last year announced buying majority stake in the company that owns the nation’s largest onland oil field, from UK’s Cairn Energy. The deal is to close by 15th April.


RBI governor: Banks need to offer better rates to encourage savings, achieve growth

D Subbarao says banks must lower net interest margins, improve efficiency  

New Delhi: Banks need to raise deposit rates in order to encourage savings, and lower lending rates to help the country achieve double-digit growth, RBI governor D Subbarao said today.

“For double-digit growth that we aspire, we need to save so that we can invest more. For that to happen, we need to encourage savings, which means that banks will have to raise interest that they offer to depositors and they have to reduce interest they charge from borrowers. In technical terms, what you understand is that the net interest margin has to come down,” he said on the sidelines of an event organised by the Institute of International Finance. Currently, banks pay up to 9.5% interest on fixed deposits.

Dr Subbarao stressed that Indian banks need to improve efficiency to catch up with their counterparts in the other nations. “They (Indian banks) have to reduce non-interest expenses including wages and salaries, reduce transaction costs, provision cost... bring in productivity enhancement, reduce NPAs and leverage on technology,” he said, reports PTI.

On meeting Basel III capital requirements of Indian banks, Dr Subbarao said, “At the aggregate level, Indian banking system meets Basel III capital standards. In fact, they are comfortably above Basel III requirement at the aggregate level.” However, he agreed, “It is quite possible that a few individual banks may have to augment capital (to meet Basel III norms).”

As per the Basel II rules, proposed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, banks would have to raise the level of top-quality capital known as core Tier 1 to 7% of their risk-bearing assets by 2019. Currently, core Tier 1 requirement is 2%.


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