Union Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Thursday criticised the Indian Navy for not giving its approval to a proposal for a floating jetty at Malabar Hill in South Mumbai, ANI reported on Thursday. The Indian Navy’s job is to secure our borders from terrorists, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.

Gadkari was speaking at a foundation stone laying ceremony for an international cruise terminal at the Mumbai Port. “There is no Navy in Malabar Hill, so they had no right to deny permission,” Gadkari said. The minister proposed a discussion with naval officials on the matter. Western Naval Command Chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra was among those present at the ceremony.

The minister took a jibe at the Navy’s senior officials. “The Navy is needed to patrol the borders near Pakistan, not in South Mumbai,” Gadkari said. “They [naval officers] came to request that land be allotted to the Navy in a prime area in Mumbai. I will not give them an inch of land.”

“We are the government,” The Indian Express quoted Gadkari as saying. “The Navy and the defence ministry are not the government.”

The minister also accused the National Green Tribunal, environmental activists and the media of stalling development projects in the country.