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Grand Republic Day celebrations in Maharashtra

Pomp and pageantry marked the 66th Republic Day celebrations, as people took part with great enthusiasm in events in Mumbai and across Maharashtra.

Mumbai: Pomp and pageantry marked the 66th Republic Day celebrations, as people took part with great enthusiasm in events in Mumbai and across Maharashtra.

The main state function was held at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai where Governor CV Rao unfurled the tricolour and took the salute at a parade.

Rao`s wife Vinodha, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his wife Amruta, legislative council Chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh, legislative assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde, Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar, diplomats, officials of the armed forces, prominent citizens and students were present on the occasion.

In his address, Rao said the "Make In Maharashtra" initiative of the state government -- modelled on the lines of "Make In India" -- has received overwhelming response from various stakeholders.

The state government has set up a state-of-the-art Integrated Facilitation Centre to provide incentives and facilities to all investors, accord faster approval and reduce the number of permissions required to start new industrial projects in Maharashtra.

Rao assured that the state would continue to work with the motto of "minimum government, maximum governance", and in this context, it plans to enact the `Right To Services Act` which will ensure timely delivery of services to citizens in government departments and in offices.

Dwelling on the Mumbai infrastructure, the governor said the state government will implement the mega-infrastructure projects in the city like Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, the 36-km coastal road from Nariman Point to Kandivli, and the Western Coast and Eastern Coast Water Transport Projects.

Besides, it will implement the fully underground Dahisar-Mankhurd Metro and the 32-km underground and elevated Wadala-Kasar Vadavali Metro projects.

Rao reiterated the state government`s resolve to construct a national monument of Chhatrapati Shivaji off the Mumbai coast in the Arabian Sea and a grand memorial to Bharat Ratna B.R. Ambedkar at the Indu Mills Compound.

He also touched upon initiatives of the state government like "Aaple Sarkar" launched Monday, affordable housing schemes, Jalyukta Shivar Yojana to conserve water, expediting the MIHAN projects in Nagpur, the Jijau hostels for girls and working women, and a separate department of skill development and entrepreneurship.

Various units of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, CISF, state reserve police force, Mumbai Armed Police, Mumbai Women Police, Mumbai Fire Brigade, Sea Cadet Corps, Road Safety Patrol, Bharat Scouts and Guides took part in a march past.

Colourful floats of the industry department on "Make In Maharashtra", Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, employment guarantee scheme, water conservation department, forest department and other branches were avidly watched by the enthusiastic gathering.

The Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) and the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee also organised programmes at their headquarters in Mumbai.

The MRCC event at Azad Maidan saw top party leaders like Janardhan Chandurkar, Gurudas Kamat and others unfurling and saluting the national flag.

At the MPCC event in Tiak Bhavan, state party chief Manikrao Thakre and other leaders hoisted and saluted the tricolour.

Functions were also held in various government buildings, schools and colleges, housing complexes, social organisations, and at various district collectorates across the state.