The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), which is facing much flak for several housing projects for the economically weaker sections, witnessed yet another embarrassing incident on Monday when locals pelted stones at BJP leaders to oppose a proposed affordable housing scheme project in Gotri area of the city. At the ceremony to lay the foundation stone of an affordable housing colony for the Low Income Group (LIG) under the Mukhyamantri Grah Awas Yojana (MGY) in Gotri, Vadodara on Monday, protesting locals pelted stones at the BJP leaders of the civic body including Mayor Bharat Shah, Deputy Mayor Sunita Shukla and Cabinet Minister Saurabh Patel among other city leaders. The incident left Shukla injured.
The ceremony to lay the foundation stone of an affordable housing complex under the MGY LIG scheme in Gotri turned into an embarrassment for the VMC, which is under fire for its management of housing schemes in the city. According to VMC officials, at around 5.30 pm on Monday, as the dignitaries from the VMC awaited the arrival of Cabinet Minister Saurabh Patel, a group of locals gathered around the area. As soon as the Minister’s convoy arrived, locals began pelting stones at the leaders. Patel, who was to lay the foundation stone, along with other leaders ducked for cover, but Deputy Mayor Shukla sustained injuries in the attack and was rushed to a private hospital for treatment.
Rajesh Shimpi, Executive Engineer for Affordable Housing (MGY), said that the proposed project comprises of luxurious 2BHK homes for families of Low income groups at affordable prices. Shimpi said, “The event was just about to begin when Minister Saurabh Patel arrived and that’s when locals began pelting stones. There was so much chaos that ensued that we could not identify tell who was pelting stones. But, we believe that a cluster of slum dwellers in the area were behind this. We are at the site and helping the police identify the culprits. Deputy Mayor Sunita Shukla was injured and left immediately.”