"I would like to assure people of Maharashtra that we will follow the same path as Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- the path of inclusiveness, development and transparency," said Devendra Fadnavis, CM, Maharashtra.
Fadnavis superceded several state leaders, to become one of Maharashtra's youngest chief ministers, and now the 44-year-old has his task cut out.
Urban development and housing are expected to be high on his priority list, but rather than announcing new policies, the task before Fadnavis is to first tie up loose ends left behind by the previous government. For instance, setting up of state's housing regulator. The plan received presidential assent in February this year, but it still hasn't seen light of day.
According to Ashutosh Limaye, Head - Research, JLL India: "The guidelines are pretty much laid out, once the agency starts functioning, it will protect interest from everybody. The public agencies that are responsible for granting permissions they also should be brought under the purview of this agency. They also have to own up the responsibility of prompt permission or at least examine the proposals on time. If the proposals are faulty, go ahead and reject them but just sitting on proposals for long time is certainly not acceptable, that is missing."
Clearing the Red Tape & Delays
Digitization is expected to be a key focus area for the new government. Fadnavis is likely to take a cue from central government and move towards online applications for all projects. This is likely to cut down delays in project approvals. The BJP manifesto promised development of business districts in all municipalities within Mumbai Metropolitan Region and establishment of 10 smart cities in Maharashtra.
But, experts believe issues specific to the state like the cluster policy which was cleared by Maharashtra Cabinet in September this year, needs to be addressed first. The policy entitles redevelopment of buildings which are more than 40 years old, and it also allows 1,000-1,500 land parcels to be opened up for development in Mumbai.
"Development of old, dilapidated buildings and its not just related to Mumbai even other cities, we need to ensure there is enough economic relief for all stake holders for the scheme to take off," Limaye said.
Development Of Dilapidated Buildings: Key Focus Area
The list of old unfinished projects is a long one. The elevated railway corridor, water transport, metro and monorail connectivity are again in the spotlight. As Maharashtra's first BJP government gears up to invite industries to 'Make In Maharashtra', it is perhaps aware that expectations of removing the state's long standing infrastructure bottlenecks run high.