MUMBAI: Housing and transport reforms for Mumbaikars and ensuring political stability topped the agenda of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government in the winter session of the legislature.
It was a busy first session for the new government in Nagpur as it decided to reopen sand and stone mines in the Konkan and increase FSI for specific categories, moved to make changes to some laws enacted by past governments for the real estate sector, and even managed to receive approval for the coastal road and water transport projects in the city from the Centre.
The session gave a glimpse of what would be the thrust areas for the government and how it expects its decisions to impact life in the city for the better.
Congress politicians, though, said several similar decisions had put earlier governments in difficulties when it came to implementation.
On the political front, the government showed it wanted to set the pace from the very beginning. Its resolve was shown when it gave permission for open inquiries against senior politicians and officials, and decided for the first time in the state to install a Congress leader as "ad hoc" leader of the Opposition so as to keep the NCP claim on the post alive.
It also cleared reservation for Marathas but indirectly refused it to Muslims.
It brought a smile on the faces of inflation hit consumer with a slew of decisions that would cut prices on certain items and services.
It decided to declare Dahi Handi a sport to make the festival safer next year, as now absence of safety measures would become punishable.
Congress spokesperson Anant Gadgil said the government was in its honeymoon period as was evident from the new announcements.
"When it comes to implementation, it will be difficult for them to show their will and skill," he said. "Most of the ministers fumbled while answering queries in the House. Public grievances are increasing. It is easy to say construction permissions will be given in seven days but I doubt it, as big buildings need minimum 30 permissions and take three weeks to process."