Snubbing the BJP once again, the Shiv Sena did not lend support to either of its proposals — of changing the reservation for a car shed in Aarey Colony, and setting up of an electric substation in Andheri for the state government’s Mumbai Metro Rail project — during the improvement committee’s meeting. After being denied an opportunity to speak repeatedly, the BJP corporators staged a walkout on Wednesday.
One of the proposals was on the change of reservation of a plot in Andheri from its current status of a sewage pumping station to an electric substation, which wasn’t taken up for discussion by the chairperson, Sena corporator Anant Nar. While the proposal was sent back to the administration, the members of the opposition, including Samajwadi Party corporator Ashraf Azmi demanded for a visit of the site before a decision is taken in the matter.
The second proposal called for a change of reservation of a plot measuring 33 hectares in Aarey Colony from a no-development zone to a metro car shed depot workshop for the Metro project, which was rejected by the Sena even as BJP corporators including Jyoti Alvani demanded a discussion on the matter. “The Metro project strives to give a mode of transport for people which will reduce air and noise-pollution. It is extremely unfair on the part of the chairperson of the committee to deny a member a chance to speak,” said Prakash Gangadhare, a BJP corporator and former chairperson of the improvements committee.
The proposal for the Metro car shed had been brought before the Improvements Committee last year but was sent back to the civic administration. Subsequently, a visit of the site was conducted after which the proposal was taken up for discussion for the second time. Even though the Metro project has been taken up by the state government, the civic body had informed the urban development department that the project will require a no-objection certificate from all the stakeholders including the general body before the reservation can be changed in the development plan 1991.
The BJP eventually staged a walkout after an argument over a proposal of handing over an 8,209 square metre plot in Bhandup West to a developer even though the plot is reserved for a superspecialty hospital. Alleging a nexus with the developer, BJP corporators including Ujjwala Modak said that despite demands from all the BJP corporators, Nar did not take a vote on the issue. “The BMC has not followed due process and has not approached the Supreme Court as it should have in this case which shows the failure of the law department. There is a desperate need of a hospital in the eastern suburbs and the Sena doesn’t seem to be making any efforts to retain the plot.”