BMC to review agreement for Bhau Daji Lad

Group leaders of parties want civic body to run the museum, place demand before commissioner.

Written by Arita Sarkar | Mumbai | Published: January 6, 2016 2:19:46 am
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Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decided to review the terms of the public-private partnership agreement for the running of the
Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Byculla, at a meeting on Tuesday. Group leaders of the parties placed their demand to the municipal commissioner that the civic body take control of the museum. Tasneem Mehta, the director of the museum, was also present at the meeting.

Confident that Mehta will not be managing the museum for long, Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh referred to the museum as the elite’s recreational ground.

“The entire arrangement is illegal and the BMC should take over the management. Mehta will soon be shown the doors since the House has already passed the proposal to revoke the PPP agreement,” he said. He added that the museum has been hosting cocktail parties for the elite and is operating as an autonomous body despite being a public space.

Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta stated that the group leaders raised their concerns over the lack of accounts as well as artefacts.

“We will be reviewing all the conditions under which the agreement was signed as well as consider if any changes need to be made to it,” he said.

Defending her stand, Mehta stated that she was being made a victim of local politics and that she was only working as per the resolution of the board, which empowers her to raise funds for the museum. “I am not doing anything illegal. If they have an issue with the way I run the institution, they can come and talk to me about it. I am not an employee of the BMC but an equal investor in running the museum which I care for like my own child,” she said.

Mehta added that apart from the corpus funds worth Rs 25 crore, she hosts events and raises about Rs 1.5 crore every year for the museum.

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