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Eknath Shinde Biography – Cabinet Minister of Government Of Maharashtra

Eknath Shinde is the Cabinet Minister of Urban Development and Public Works in Government Of Maharashtra. He is current Member of Legislative Assembly from Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency of Thane, Maharashtra.

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Real Name: Eknath Shinde
Profession: Indian Politician
Birthplace: Maharashtra, India
Spouse: Lata Eknath Shinde
Age: 58 years

Eknath Shinde (born 9 February 1964) is the Cabinet Minister of Urban Development and Public Works (Public Undertakings) in the Government Of Maharashtra. He is currently a Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency of Thane, Maharashtra. He has been elected consecutively for 4 terms in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in 2004, 2009, 2014 & 2019.

Eknath Shinde Biography
Eknath Shinde Biography
Eknath Shinde Biography
Cabinet Minister
Government of Maharashtra
Incumbent
Assumed office
28 November 2019
Minister
  • Urban Development.
  • Public Works (Including Public Undertakings)
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
Preceded by Devendra Fadnavis

  • Himself
In office
5 December 2014 – 12 November 2019
Minister
  • Public Works (including Public Undertakings)
  • Public Health and Family Welfare
Governor
  • C. Vidyasagar Rao
  • Bhagat Singh Koshiyari
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
Preceded by
Succeeded by
  • Rajesh Tope
  • Himself
Guardian minister of Thane & Gadchiroli District Government of Maharashtra
Incumbent
Assumed office
09 January 2020
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
Constituency Kopri-Pachpakhadi Vidhan Sabha constituency
25th Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly
In office
12 November 2014 – 5 December 2014
Governor
  • C. Vidyasagar Rao
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
Preceded by Eknath Khadse
Succeeded by Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil
Member of Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra
Incumbent
Assumed office
2004
Constituency Kopri-Pachpakhadi Vidhan Sabha constituency
Personal details
Born
Eknath Sambhaji Shinde

9 February 1964 (age 58)
Maharashtra, India

Political party Shiv Sena
Children Shrikant Shinde
Parent(s) Sambhaji Shinde
Occupation politician

Biography (Eknath Shinde Biography)

Eknath Shinde hails from the mountainous Jawali taluka in Satara, Maharashtra, and belongs to the Maratha community. His family moved to Thane, on the outskirts of Mumbai, in order to earn a living. Eknath studied till 11th standard at Mangala High School & Junior College, Thane. He had to leave his education in order to earn a livelihood for his family. He began working as a small worker on a daily wage basis. After several years, with difficulty, he managed to become an auto-rickshaw driver. He has come up in life the hard way.

As a laborer and then as a rickshaw driver, he was attracted to the social and cultural activities of the Shiv Sena. He joined the party in the 1980s, after coming under the influence and tutelage of the Shiv Sena’s Thane District Chief, Anand Dighe. Again, his association with the party began as a humble foot-soldier at the local level. Later, his sincerity and hard work caught the discerning eye of Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. Under the patronage of Anand Dighe and Balasaheb Thackeray, he rose in the party’s ranks and was entrusted with many important positions. Eventually, when the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition came to power in Maharashtra, he became a minister in the state government under Devendra Fadnavis.

After becoming the minister in 2014, Shinde felt moved to resume his formal education. He enrolled in the distance education program of Yashvantrao Chavan Open University, Maharashtra. He duly earned his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with distinction, scoring 77.25 percent. His elective subjects for B.A. graduation were Marathi Literature and Political Science.

Since childhood, Shinde has lived in the Thane area, on the outskirts of Mumbai, and is presently a resident of Wagle Estate in Thane, a very middle-class neighborhood. He married Smt. Latabai Eknath Shinde, a lady of his own community and similar family background, in a match arranged by their families in the usual Indian way. They became the parents of three children: sons Shrikant and Dipesh and daughter Shubhada.

Eknath Shinde Biography
Eknath Shinde Biography

The family suffered a tremendous tragedy on 02 June 2000. On that day, Dipesh (aged 11) and Shubhada (aged 7) went boating in a lake near their native village in Maharashtra. The boat overturned and both the children died by drowning. Eknath Shinde went into depression for several months. At the time of this unspeakable tragedy, Anand Dighe provided emotional support to Eknath Shinde and did something unusual: he entrusted Shinde with greater responsibility in order to keep his mind occupied and away from depression. He got Shinde elected to the post of Leader of the House in Thane Municipal Corporation. In fact, this was Eknath Shinde’s first official position outside the party and in some sense, the beginning of his career as a public servant.

Shinde’s only surviving child, Dr. Shrikant Shinde, is an orthopedic surgeon who has also been the elected Member of Parliament to the Lok Sabha from the Kalyan constituency since 2014 (re-elected in 2019).

Positions held (Eknath Shinde Biography)

  • 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 for the first time
  • 2005: Appointed 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 for the 2nd time
  • 2014: Elected to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the 3rd time
  • 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 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 Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray
  • 2019: Appointed minister of Urban Development and Public Works (Public Undertakings)
  • 2019: Appointed Minister of Home Affairs(Acting)(28 November 2019 – 30 December 2019)
  • 2020: Appointed guardian minister of Thane district

Political career (Eknath Shinde Biography)

Like any other youth of Maharashtra from the 1970s and 80s, Eknath Shinde too had a major influence on Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. Additionally, he was also impressed by the working style of Shiv Sena’s 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 the 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 the 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 a 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 an 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 a handsome majority. In the very next year, in 2005, he was appointed to the coveted post of Shiv Sena Thane District Head. He was the first-ever MLA from Shiv Sena to have been appointed The District Head as well.

He emerged victorious in the subsequent assembly elections in 2009, 2014, and 2019. After the 2014 elections, he was elected as the leader of the 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 the legislative party of Shiv Sena for the second consecutive term.

Eknath Shinde Biography
Eknath Shinde Biography

Performance in the Legislature (Eknath Shinde Biography)

In the 10 years from the 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 have 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, organized 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 for 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.

Selection of Leader of the Opposition (Eknath Shinde Biography)

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 horrible condition of farmers and the apathy of government machinery towards them. As a result, the government had to declare compensation.

Ministerial performance (Eknath Shinde Biography)

  • Minister of Public Works (Public Enterprises):

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 the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai. However, after the Congress-NCP-led government came to power in the state in 1999, 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 its 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 in progress such as the 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 fly pools in Vidarbha, a total of 1621 km of national highway roads. In addition, the planning of the ambitious projects like the Thane-Borivli Subway, Versova-Virar Sea-Link, and Gaymukh-Fountain hotel-Ghodbundar advanced route, is in the final stages.

Important projects

  • Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway (Prosperity Corridor):

With traveling 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 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 confidence among farmers. Not only the best compensation package was offered for the project (the highest to 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 an emphasis on 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 Expressway:

Mumbai-Pune Expressway reduced the distance between Mumbai and Pune to two & a half to three hours. The first expressway 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 a sleepy town of retirees to a vibrant megapolis of education institutes and service industry (IT). However, traffic congestion was becoming a frequent problem in the Ghats, of late, as also the increasing rate of accidents.

Therefore, capacity augmentation has been undertaken under the leadership of Eknath Shinde. A 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 takes 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 :

The Sion-Panvel 10-way road is one of the busiest traffic routes connected to the 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 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 a minimum of 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 damages the environment. Therefore, Eknath Shinde presented the concept of the 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 pollution as well. Under this project, a 10 km tunnel will be constructed which starts from Tikujiniwadi in Thane. The 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 for 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 the road instead of the traditional tarmac process concreting method will be used for new 6-lane roads, In addition to that, there will be flyovers at Manpada, Sonarpada, and Badalapur junction. Work was expected to be completed by February 2021.

  • Thane-Ghodbandar Unnat (Elevated) Road:

Ghodbandar Road is an important way that connects to Mumbai-Ahembdabad and Mumbai-Agra National Highways. But, due to Fountain Hotel to Gaymukh is only a 4-way road, and it has a huge traffic congestion problem. Since this area is under the authority of the Forest Department, the option of an 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.

Ekanth Shinde with his family
Ekanth Shinde with his family

Various measures to reduce accidents on the Mumbai-Pune speeding route

  • Placed metal beam crash barriers and wire rope barriers along the road and in the center.
  • 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 accidents were reduced. There were 151 casualties in the accidents 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 Health (Eknath Shinde Biography)

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 a contract basis through health teams in the 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 34,000 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 centers in sub-district hospitals by buying 102 dialysis machines to provide convenience in the countryside and also speeded up the process of converting health centers into wellness centers. 1100 wellness centers are executed to date. The center has approved to convert of 5,200 more 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. Tribal Development and Women and Child Development Department Officers 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 was 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 Dighe (Eknath Shinde Biography)

After the sudden demise of the then Thane district chief of Shiv Sena, Shri Anand Dighe, in August 2001, the 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 the 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, Ambernath Municipal Council, and 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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