Criticizing those who opposing development projects, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Monday said there were 26 sites similar to Lavasa where tourist towns could be developed.
He was addressing a function organized to mark 80 years Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA). Pawar's statement comes in the wake of consistent criticism of Lavasa that is Pawar's brainchild, but has been mired in controversy over allegations of violations of several norms.
Pawar didn't hide his displeasure as he said development projects in state like Lavasa and Enron were opposed and committees were formed even though there was no need to do so. "Traveling in helicopters I have realized there are 26 sites in Maharashtra where water bodies are nearby and there is hardly any population. There would be no issue of displacement and these sites can be developed on the lines of Lavasa. On any given weekend, there are at least 10000 visitors in Lavasa," he pointed.
He lamented crucial years were lost in opposition of the project even though Lavasa was envisaged after discussion with experts by the Hindustan Construction Company.
Pawar's statement also gains significance as Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is facing an uphill task of bitter criticism of his style of functioning from NCP chief's nephew and his deputy Ajit Pawar. Chavan is said to have told his party high command that he had cleared most of the projects but the opposition to him came from vested interests because he hadn't cleared two or three projects.
Pawar, while speaking on the sidelines of the event, however, said there was no pressure from his party for a change of guard in the state. "Ajit has already clarified and I reiterate…there is no pressure from our party," Pawar told dna.
Chavan had been camping in Delhi along with aspirants from the Congress after reports of change of guard in Maharashtra surfaced. Chavan has categorically denied his kursi was in danger.