Gadkari's outburst came after the navy had refused permission, on the grounds of security, to the building of a jetty to launch seaplane services from and a floatel. Photograph: (PTI)
'We respect you,' Gadkari said, 'but there is no need of the navy, defence here (south Mumbai)'
In an astonishing outburst, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari told the Indian Navy today to "go to the Pakistan border, where the terrorists come from, and do patrolling there. I will not give you an inch of land in south Mumbai."
The navy, Gadkari said, is "needed there, at the border, where the terrorists come from".
#WATCH: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari says, 'Navy is needed at the borders, from where terrorists come, why does everyone (in Navy) want to live in South Mumbai? They came to me asking for a plot, I said I will not give even an inch of land.' pic.twitter.com/45gQDlbcBP— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2018
"Why do you want to live here?" he asked.
He then went on to say that navy officials had come to meet him, to ask for land to build flats.
"I won't give an inch of land in south Mumbai," Gadkari then said. "And don't come to me again."
"Everyone wants to live in south Mumbai," Gadkari said.
"We respect you," he added, "but there is no need of the navy, defence here."
Gadkari was speaking at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a cruise terminal. A number of senior naval officials, including the Chief of Western Command Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra were present.
News reports said Gadkari's outburst came after the navy had refused permission, on the grounds of security, to a jetty to launch seaplane services and a floatel.
Gadkari added Thursday that the government plans to bring 10,000 seaplanes into service over the next two years.
The government has been keen to make greater use of the country's waterways considering the high cost of expanding the country's roads and highways.
Gadkari is currently minister for road transport and highways, shipping and water resources, and river development and Ganga rejuvenation.
The navy's refusal to the jetty is obviously a setback to the government's plans.