The prime minister also attended the launch of a coffee table book titled Timeless Laxman where he praised R.K. Laxman’s cartoons.
Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday laid foundation stones for two metro lines and affordable housing projects entailing investment of over Rs 33,000 crore in the megapolis.
At an event held here months ahead of the crucial general elections in 2019, Modi kickstarted work on the ambitious Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan (Metro 5) and the Dahisar-Mira Bhayander (Metro 9) in this Mumbai suburb, which will see investments of over Rs 15,000 crore.
He also launched the Navi Mumbai town planning authority Cidco’s (City & Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) mass-housing scheme worth Rs 18,000 crore, which offers around 89,771 affordable units under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
Accompanied by state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union urban development minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Modi laid the foundation stones for the these three projects.
The Rs 8,416-crore, 24.9-km-long Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan metro corridor (Metro-5) is expected to carry around 2.29 lakh commuters daily by 2021, with the entire system designed for six-coach trains. The corridor will have 17 stations.
The 10.3-km elevated Dahisar-Mira Bhayander corridor (Metro-9) comprising eight stations, is expected to be completed by 2022, and the cost of the project is estimated at Rs 6,607 crore.
Both the projects are being executed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
As per the proposal, Metro-9 will be integrated with Metro-7 (Dahisar to Andheri) and Metro-2A (Dahisar -DN Road) along with the proposed Rs 3,600-crore Gaimukh-Shivaji Chowk (Mira Road or Metro-10).
The tendering process to appoint general consultants and contractors for civil works for Metro 9 is in progress, and is expected to commence from next March.
Currently, the northwestern suburbs of Mira-Bhayander are connected to Mumbai via the suburban line.
At present, work on several metro corridors is underway across the megapolis, including the Dahisar-DN Nagar (Metro-2A), DN Nagar-Mankhurd (Metro-2B), Andheri (East)0- Dhisar (Metro-7), Colaba-Bandra-Seepz (Metro-3), the elevated Wadala-Kasarvadavali (Metro 4) and the SwamiSamarthnagar- Jogeshwari-Vikhroli (Metro-6).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday suggested that a case study of the socio-political history of last four to five decades by way of cartoons be taken up by a university in Maharashtra.
He said cartoons do not hurt but have a “healing power”.
He was speaking after launching a coffee table book, titled “Timeless Laxman”, on the life and times of renowned cartoonist late R K Laxman, who was known for his iconic caricature of ‘The Common Man’.
Fadnavis and Governor C Vidyasagar Rao were also present at the event.
“I would like to tell Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to see if any university in the state can do a case study of the socio-political history through the medium of cartoons.
The base can be Laxman’s works,” Modi said.
He said Laxman’s cartoons were the “easiest way of teaching social science”.
“Laxman was not just an individual but a fundamental thread that held together crores of common people and their hearts,” he said.
He congratulated the late cartoonist’s family for digitalising the ‘Common Man’ cartoon and deciding to release his works in an animated form.
Cartoonists are “closer to God” as they can minutely observe different characteristics of various human beings, he said.
“The common man is constant. He is modern and strong.
Even through his way of dressing, one cannot make out which part of India he represents. Laxman’s approach was to find diversity in caricatures and bring them together. Cartoons don’t hurt. They have a healing power,” he said.
Modi recalled how Laxman’s cartoons made a lasting impression on his mind.
“I always used to feel why aeroplanes should have the ‘Maharaja’ tag and not that of a common man. My thought reached then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and some flights have the common man pictures on them,” he said.
“After coming to power, I dreamt that those wearing hawai chappals (slippers) should also be able to fly in planes. Now, more people travel by air than second class air-conditioned train compartments,” he said.
On the occasion, Fadnavis said Laxman’s cartoons connected several generations. – PTI