On 30 January, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis unveiled ‘Mumbai Next’, an initiative to transform the country’s financial capital into a global financial and entertainment centre. His government will hold a high-profile conference under the project’s banner on 6 February, which will be attended by Tata Sons Ltd chairman Cyrus Mistry, Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani, Union minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha, actor Amitabh Bachchan and film producer Rajkumar Hirani, among others.
Just a day earlier, Shiv Sena, partner of Fadnavis’s Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) in the state and centre, held a demonstration against Mumbai Metro’s planned Line III between Colaba in South Mumbai and Santacruz Electronic Export Promotion Zone (Seepz) in the western suburb of Santacruz. The two events may seem totally unconnected, but the latter points to a key reason why Mumbai has struggled to fulfill its potential, while other cities have moved forward. The young chief minister surely dreams big, but will encounter tough challenges in achieving his goals.