Khairkar demands naming it after Dr Ambedkar or Mahatma Jyotiba Phule
Nagpur: Bhaiyaji Khairkar, Director of Nagarjuna Television Private Limited and Lord Buddha Television Limited has opposed naming of Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Mahamarg after Balasaheb Thackeray. Khairkar said that even if the Samruddhi Mahamarg is to be named, name it after Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar or Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.
A decision to name Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway (NMSCE), also known as Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Mahamarg, was taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, to the proposal by Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday.
The previous BJP-led government headed by former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had prepared a proposal to name it after the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The then ruling partner Shiv Sena had demanded it be named after the late Balasaheb Thackeray, but it was not conceded.
Khairkar further said that Samruddhi Mahamarg would be passing through Vidarbha and Marathwada. Both the regions are backward. Suicides by farmers have been taking place mostly in these two regions.
The previous government had held people of the regions to ransom. Hence agitations for separate Vidarbha state are being staged frequently. The late Balasaheb Thackeray and Shiv Sena opposed the separate Vidarbha. Then why name Samruddhi Mahamarg after Balasaheb Thackeray?
“Name the Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Mahamarg after Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar or Mahatma Jyotiba Phule. If the state government wants to name it after Balasaheb Thackeray, then it announce publicly that the Mahamarg is not for farmers.
But if the State Government wants to develop the backward regions, farmers, farm labourers, rural areas, downtrodden people, then name the Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Mahamarg after Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar or Mahatma Jyotiba Phule,” Khairkar demanded.
The under-construction project is estimated to cost around Rs 55,000 crore and the eight-lane expressway will be 701 km long linking the country’s commercial capital with the orange capital.
Running through 10 districts and touching around 390 villages, it will cut the travel time from the existing around 15 hours to barely eight hours, proving a boon to people in both cities and en route in the towns and villages by opening up employment opportunities.
Earlier, there were demands to name it after several prominent personalities including Mahatma Gandhi, Dr B.R. Ambedkar and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.