'Go patrol Pakistan border, why stay in South Mumbai', Gadkari tells Navy officials

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Union Minister Nitin Gadkari hit out at the Indian Navy asking, why its officials needed to stay in the posh South Mumbai area. The comments were made by Gadkari while criticising the Navy for opposing the construction of a jetty at Malabar Hill.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

"Actually, Navy is needed at the borders from where terrorists sneak in. Why does everyone in the Navy want to stay in South Mumbai? They had come to me, asking for a plot of land. I will not give even an inch of land. Please don't come to me again," the Union Minister also said.

The remarks came in the wake of the Navy denying permission to build a floating jetty at Malabar Hill in South Mumbai, where a floating hotel and seaplane service had been planned.

The Bombay high court had refused permission to a private company for the construction of the jetty because it did not have the no-objection certificate (NoC) from the Western Naval Command.

As part of Gadkari's plan to promote tourism, a private firm, Rashmi Development Private Limited, proposed to build a jetty to ferry its passengers to its five-star floatel in the Arabian Sea.

Gadkari asked, what the Navy had to do with Malabar Hill. Everyone wants to build quarters in South Mumbai. We respect you, but you should go to the Pakistan border and do patrolling, he said.

"We are the government. The Navy and the defence ministry are not the government," he said at a function where he laid the foundation stone for an international cruise terminal at the Mumbai Port Trust.

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