Eknath Shinde (born 9 February 1964) is the Cabinet Minister of Urban Development and Public Works (Public Undertakings) in Government Of Maharashtra. He is current Member of Legislative Assembly from Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency of Thane, Maharashtra, India as a member of Shiv Sena. He has been elected consecutively for 4 terms in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for 2004, 2009, 2014 & 2019.
Government of Maharashtra
|Assumed office |
28 November 2019
|Governor||Bhagat Singh Koshyari|
|Chief Minister||Uddhav Thackeray|
|Preceded by||Devendra Fadnavis|
5 December 2014 – 12 November 2019
|Chief Minister||Devendra Fadnavis|
|Guardian minister of Thane & Gadchiroli District Government of Maharashtra|
|Assumed office |
09 January 2020
|Constituency||Kopri-Pachpakhadi Vidhan Sabha constituency|
|25th Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly|
12 November 2014 – 05 December 2014
|Preceded by||Eknath Khadse|
|Succeeded by||Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil|
|Member of Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra|
|Assumed office |
|Constituency||Kopri-Pachpakhadi Vidhan Sabha constituency|
Eknath Sambhaji Shinde
9 February 1964
|Political party||Shiv Sena|
His son Dr Shrikant Shinde, an orthopaedic surgeon got elected as a Member of Parliament to the Lok Sabha from the Kalyan constituency defeating the NCP's Anand Paranjape, who had defected from the Shiv Sena and Raju Patil of the MNS.
Early life, Education and careerEdit
Eknath Shinde hails from maratha community of the mountainous Jawali taluka in Satara, Maharashtra. After coming to Thane city, he studied till 11th standard., from Mangala High School & Junior College, Thane and then started his early career as a small worker. He had to leave the education to earn the livelihood for his family. However, after becoming the minister in 2014 in BJP-Shivsena government, he resumed his studies and has now graduated in via distance education by Yashvantrao Chavan Open University, Maharashtra. He has earned his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with distinction, scoring 77.25 percentage. His final years subjects were Marathi and Politics. While doing odd jobs early in his career, he came under the influence of Shivsena supremo Bal Thackeray and Shivsena's Thane District Chief Anand Dighe and joined Shivsena in 1980s. He is a resident of Thane's Wagle estate area.
- 1997 : Elected to Thane Municipal Corporation as corporator for the first time
- 2001 : Elected to the post of the leader of the house in Thane Municipal Corporation.
- 2002 : Elected to Thane Municipal Corporation for the second time
- 2004 : Elected to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly
- 2005 : Appointed as the Thane district head of Shiv Sena. First MLA to have been appointed at such a coveted post in the party
- 2009 : Elected to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly 
- 2014 : Elected to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly 
- October 2014 - December 2014: Leader of opposition Maharashtra Legislative Assembly
- 2014 - 2019: Cabinet Minister of PWD (PU) in Maharashtra State Government
- 2014 - 2019: Guardian minister of Thane District
- 2018 : Appointed as Leader of Shiv Sena Party 
- 2019: Cabinet Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare (Marathi: सार्वजनिक आरोग्य आणि कुटुंब कल्याण) in Maharashtra State Government 
- 2019 : Elected to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the fourth consecutive time
- 2019 : Elected as the leader of the legislative party of Shivsena
- 28th Nov 2019 : Took oath as Cabinet Minister under Maha-Vikas-Aghadi headed by Honorable Chief minister of Maharashtra Mr Uddhav ji Thackeray
- 2019: Appinted as minister of Urban Development and Public Works (Public Undertakings)
- 2020: Appointed as guardian minister of Thane district
Like any other youth of Maharashtra from 1970s and 80s, Eknath Shinde too had a major influence of Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. Additionally, he was also impressed by the working style of Shiv Sena's the then Thane district president Shri Anand Dighe, who later came to be known as Dharmaveer Anand Dighe or Dighe Saheb. He joined Shiv Sena in 1980s and was appointed Shakha Pramukh of Kisan Nagar. Since then, he had been at the forefront of many agitations, undertaken by his party on social and political issues, such as inflation, black marketing, hoarding of essential commodities such as palm oil by traders etc. He also took part in Maharashtra-Karnataka Border agitation in 1985, in which he was imprisoned in Bellary jail for over 40 days.
His dedication and work got noticed and in 1997, he was given the opportunity to contest the election of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) as a corporator which he won with handsome majority. In 2001, he got elected as a Leader of the house in TMC. He continued to occupy the post till 2004. As a leader of the house in TMC, he didn't restrict himself to the issues related to the TMC or the city, but took active interest in the overall development and well-being of the whole Thane district.
In 2004, Eknath Shinde was given an opportunity to contest the Assembly Elections from Thane Assembly Constituency by Balasaheb Thackeray and he won the same with handsome majority. In the very next year, in 2005, he was appointed at the coveted post of Shiv Sena Thane District Head. He was the first MLA from Shiv Sena to have been appointed as The District Head as well.
He emerged victorious in the subsequent assembly elections in 2009, 2014 and 2019. After 2014 elections, he was elected as the leader of legislative party of Shiv Sena and subsequently the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly. Within a month, as Shiv Sena decided to join the state government, he took oath as the minister for Public Works Department (Public Undertakings) and went on to take the additional responsibility of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry in January 2019.
Recently, he was elected as the leader of legislative party of Shiv Sena for the second consecutive term.
Performance in the LegislatureEdit
In the 10 years from year 2004 to 2014, as the MLA of the main Opposition party in the Legislative Assembly, Eknath Shinde consistently raised many important issues concerning the state in general and Thane in particular, the most prominent being The Cluster Development scheme for dilapidated illegal buildings in Thane and MMR, Thane Metro, a New Extended Thane Station between Thane and Mulund, Water Scarcity, coastal security of the state, Modernization of the Police Force, Inflation, increasing debt of the State, etc. He delivered his scholarly speeches on many such topics. After the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the then Congress-NCP alliance government announced the modernization of the police force and strengthening of maritime security. However, despite spending billions of rupees, maritime security was in shambles. Eknath Shinde proved that the government's announcement is only on paper.
He was instrumental in getting approved two very important projects for Thane city, namely Cluster Development and Thane Metro. There are thousands of illegal buildings in Thane which has now become dilapidated. Every year a few buildings collapse and innocent residents get killed for no fault of theirs. Eknath Shinde demanded the rehabilitation of lakhs of such residents by redeveloping their residential buildings. However, since there was no provision for the redevelopment of illegal structures, the government was not paying any heed to his repeated demands. He kept raising this issue on the floor of the house in sessions after sessions, organised a long march from Thane to Mantralay on 3 October 2013 and gheraoed the then Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavhan on the steps of the Assembly. As a result of these sustained efforts, the then government had to announce the cluster development scheme for the redevelopment of dilapidated illegal buildings and rehabilitation of lakhs of residents.
Likewise, the state government was ignoring the demand of the Metro project connecting Thane to Mumbai. Instead, it announced metro projects for Pimpari-Chinchwad, Pune and Nagpur after the successful completion of the first metro project in Mumbai. Shiv Sena MLAs from Thane under the leadership of Eknath Shinde opposed this move vehemently during the assembly session and forced the government to sanction the metro project for Thane. Today the work on Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane metro is in full swing.
Selection of Leader of the OppositionEdit
Shiv Sena decided to sit in opposition after the assembly elections in 2014. Eknath Shinde was elected as the Leader of the Opposition in the state. A month later, as Shiv Sena decided to join the government, Eknath Shinde only got about a month as LOP. However, in such a short period of time, he made the government restless. There were droughts in some parts of the state at that time, and in some areas due to the rains and hailstorms, agriculture was severely damaged. Eknath Shinde toured every nook and corner of the state and brought to the notice of the government the horribal condition of farmers and the apathy of government machinery towards them. As a result, the government had to declare compensation.
- Minister of Public Works (Public Enerprises):
After the Shivsena decided to join the BJP-led government in the state in December, Eknath Shinde was given the responsibility of Minister of Public Works. He became the designated chairman of the Maharashtra State Roads Development Corporation (MSRDC) under the authority of this ministry.
- Revival of MSRDC:
MSRDC was created for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway project under the concept of Shivsena chief Balasaheb Thackeray and to promote road development in the state. The ambitious project, which has changed the face of Pune through MSRDC, was the first expressway of the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway, two flyovers in Mumbai, and Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai. However, after the Congress-NCP led government came to power in the state in 1949, the MSRDC was consciously ignored in the politics of power. As a result, MSRDC was almost on death row when Eknath Shinde assumed charge of the department in the first year. It had a debt of six thousand crores on her head and no project was going on. In this case, Eknath Shinde started the revival of MSRDC. He expressed confidence that MSRDC would become the growth engine of the state's development. In just five years, he proved this to be true. Today, through MSRDC,there are many ambitious projects are in progress such as Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway (Samrudhhi Highway), Mumbai-Pune Express Highway Capacity Extension, Third Bridge on Thane Bay at Vashi, Bandra-Versova Sea Link, six-laning and concretization of roads, 27 railway flypools in Vidarbha, A total of 1621 km of national highway roads. In addition, the planning of the ambitious projects like Thane-Borivli Subway, Versova-Virar Sea-Link, Gaymukh-Fountain hotel-Ghodbundar advanced route, is in the final stages.
- Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway (Prosperity Corridor):
With travelling time between Nagpur to Mumbai set to be reduced to just six to eight hours from the present 14 hours, work on this 701 km ambitious project is in full swing. Around 20% of the work is completed and progressing ahead as per schedule. With many projects of such magnitude getting delayed mainly due to the land acquisition issues, Eknath Shinde as MSRDC minister, took initiative and had a direct dialogue with farmers across the state whose land was to be acquired for this project. This created the confidence among farmers. Not only the best compensation package was offered for the project (the highest till date in the country), but it was ensured that the money reached the bank accounts of the beneficiaries before they were asked to sign the documents. This eliminated the middlemen and the possibility of corrupt practices. Farmers were not needed to visit government offices repeatedly to get their rightful compensation. This helped to gain farmers faith and the obstacles to the project were removed.
The project will be directly beneficial for 10 districts, 26 Talukas and 392 villages. It will also bring indirect benefits to adjoining 14 districts by way of improved road connectivity. Along with the Highway, 20 agro prosperity nodes will be developed with emphasis Logistics, Food Processing and Hospitality which will lead to job creation. As agricultural goods reach the financial markets like Mumbai in a timely manner, the farmers will get good prices and exports will also be encouraged.
- Capacity augmentation of Mumbai-Pune Express way:
Mumbai-Pune Expressway reduced the distance between Mumbai and Pune to two & a half to three hours. The first express way in the country, conceived by the Shivsena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray during the first Sena-BJP government (1995–99), had brought the transformation of Pune from sleepy town of retirees to the vibrant megapolis of education institutes and service industry (IT). However, traffic congestion was becoming frequent problem in the Ghats, of late, as also the increasing rate of accidents.
Therefore, the capacity augmentation has been undertaken under the leadership of Eknath Shinde. 6.5 km long road between Khalapur-Khopoli interchange will be expanded to 8 lanes and a 10 km tunnel will be built between Khopoli exit and Kusgaon (Sinhgad Organization). The total length of this project is 19.80 km which would remove the ghat section, reduce the travel time by 20–25 minutes, eliminate the traffic congestion that presently take place in the Ghat section and also reduce the accidents. The work on this 6700 crores project is in full swing.
- Bandra-Versova Sea Link:
Bandra-Versova sea link is an important component of the Coastal Highway project planned on the west coast of Mumbai. Originally part of the multiple sea-links on the west coast, it was later included in the coastal project, envisaged by the Shivsena Party Chief Uddhav Thackeray. This 9 km long cable-stayed bridge will be completed by April 2024.
- Third Creek bridge at Vashi :
Sion-Panvel 10-way road is One of the busiest traffic route connected to Mumbai-Pune highway, which is reduced to just 6 lanes at Vashi creek bridge leading to heavy traffic congestion. Therefore, a third bridge parallel to the existing two bridges on the creek has been planned. to be built at the cost of Rs. 775 crores, the project has been received approval from Maharashtra Maritime Board, Railways, State CRZ and Wildlife Board. Approval of forest department for mangroves forest site is in progress and the total construction period is 3 years from the beginning of the work.
- Thane-Borivali Subway:
It takes minimum one to one and half hours to travel to Borivali from Thane by Ghodbandar Road. Traffic congestion not only wastes time and fuel but also it damages the environment. Therefore, Eknath Shinde presented the concept of Thane-Borivali Subway as an alternate route. Due to this 11 km road, the distance from Thane to Borivali can be crossed in just 10 minutes and traffic on Ghodbandar road will be reduced. Also, it will save time and fuel and reduce the pollution as well. Under this project, a 10 km tunnel will be constructed which start from Tikujiniwadi in Thane. Detailed project report of this project of approximately 8,500 crores is in the final stage.
- Shil-Kalyan Road Expansion:
Shil-Kalyan-Bhivandi is a very important road in the MMR region. Heavy vehicles transport from JNPT to Anhemdabad and Nashik, this route is inadequate to the current traffic. Therefore, it was decided to make this a 6-way road. This work will be done in 2 stages. To increase the life of road instead of traditional tarmac process concreting method will be used for new 6 lane roads, addition to that there will be flyovers at Manpada, Sonarpada and Badalapur junction. Work is expected to be completed by February 2021.
- Thane-Ghodbandar Unnat(Elevated) Road:
Ghodbandar Road is an important way which connects to Mumbai-Ahembdabad and Mumbai-Agra National Highways. But, due to Fountain Hotel to Gaymukh is only 4-way road, it has a huge traffic congestion problem. Since this area is under the authority of Forest Department, the option of advanced route was adopted considering the limitations of road widening. With the acquisition of the Forest Department, work on this project of about Rs. 700 crores will begin.
Various measures to reduce accident on Mumbai-Pune speeding routeEdit
- Placed metal beam crash barriers and wire rope barriers along the road and in the centre.
- Thermoplastic paint all over the highway and the Rambler where necessary.
- Over two thousand highlighted suggestions boards.
- Increased patrols through the Delta Force.
- CCTV and speed gun measures to ensure compliance with the speed limit.
- As a result, the accident was reduced. There were 151 casualties in the accident in 2016, the number was reduced to 110 in 2018.
- Implementation of the 'Zero Fitness Corridor' scheme in collaboration with the Save Life Foundation to reduce this ratio to zero.
- The Trauma Care Centre recently opened in Ozarde. Therefore, immediate help is available to the casualties.
- Similarly, protective nets, rock bolting and other measures were taken to ensure that the cracks do not fall off.
Minister of HealthEdit
Uddhav Thackeray handed over the responsibility of Health Minister to Eknath Shinde in January 2019, seeing his efficiency and aggression towards work. He received a maximum of seven to eight months as Health Minister. But, in such a short period of time, he made scathing decisions and put in place many pending subjects and tried to strengthen the Public Health System as well. He filled 890 positions of MBBS Doctors and Specialists. The demand for regularization of BAMS doctors, who are serving on contract basis through health teams in Countryside, Inaccessible remote areas and tribal regions was delayed for 10 years. Eknath Shinde decided to regularise these 738 doctors. Under the National Health Scheme, about 34000 contract workers in the state were serving poorly. Eknath shinde decided to pay them by the Minimum Wage Law. As per the law, now every contract worker has a salary of Rs. 15600 at least. He Raised the salaries of those who serve in the corners of the State. Eknath Shinde speeded up the procedure of starting up the dialysis centres in Sub-District hospitals by buying 102 dialysis machines to provide the convenience in the countryside and also speeded up the process of converting health centers into wellness centers. 1100 wellness centers are executed till date. The center has approved to convert More 5200 sub-centers into wellness centers. Through the doctors there will be immediate medical treatment for maternal and child health issues, teeth, eyes, diabetes, blood pressure and other diseases. Melghat pattern was created to reduce malnutrition. As Health Minister, Eknath Shinde, along with the entire health system, made a two-day visit to Melghat. Officers of the Tribal Development and Women and Child Development Department were also with him. For the first time in the history of the state, all such systems have come together to formulate a plan for malnutrition and have begun implementation. In order to get free treatment for poor patients, ‘Balasaheb Thackeray Aapla Dawakhana’, the scheme started with the concept of Eknath Shinde and the Central Government has approved 60 dispensaries. Also, the project has started by Eknath Shinde as Health Minister for the redevelopment of Thane District General Hospital. Also, a Mahavir Jain Hospital was started at Hajuri in Thane by a joint venture with the Thane Municipality and Jito, a service organization. It also introduced Cathlab and dialysis facilities. Eknath Shinde's contribution to the health index is the third largest state in the recent rankings announced by the NITI Aayog.
After Anand DigheEdit
After the sudden demise of the then Thane district chief of Shiv Sena, Shri Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena seemed to lose its way in Thane. That is when Eknath Shinde stepped in and worked hard to save Shiv Sena in the district. He created confidence among shiv sainiks who were in search of new leadership. He became a great source of inspiration for them. His role in holding together the party in the district earned him the post of Thane district chief. He strengthened Shiv Sena in the whole Thane district in following years. Under the leadership of Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena got power in Thane Municipal Corporation, Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation, Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, Bhiwandi Municipal Corporation, Ambarnath Municipal Council, Badlapur Municipal Council as well. He was also instrumental in winning the Thane Zilla Parishad for the first time ever for Shiv Sena.
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