Factionalism in the Shiv Sena has come to the fore in Thane over the implementation of a cluster redevelopment scheme in Koliwadas and Jonathans. The Koli and Agri communities that reside in Koliwadas and Gaonthans have opposed the cluster development and demanded that they should be excluded from it.
Following the opposition, Shiv Sena minister and Thane guardian minister Eknath Shinde ordered a temporary stay on the cluster development in Koliwadas and Gaonthans. However, Anant Tare, former mayor and deputy leader of Sena, has written to party president Uddhav Thackeray ridiculing Shinde’s temporary stay and questioning his powers for doing so.
“How can a guardian minister who has nothing to do with the department announce a temporary stay on it. The temporary stay is nothing but a sword hanging over the heads of people. Also, there is no clarity on how long this stay will remain in force,” wrote Tare, who is also president of Maharashtra Koli Samaj Sangh.
Tare further requested Uddhav to drop Koliwadas and Gaonthans from the cluster redevelopment and force the government to issue such orders. “There is a lot of resentment among the Koli and Agri communities residing in Koliwadas and Gaonthans against the cluster development. The municipal corporation has not given proper attention for the development of Koliwadas and Gaonthans in the last few decades. The communities fear that the cluster development will put their existence in danger and destroy their culture that they have preserved all these years,” said Tare. He added that if at all the government wants to develop Koliwadas and Gaonthans, it should give floor space index of 6 for construction of houses with certain changes in norms to allow them to develop the houses on their own.
Under the cluster redevelopment scheme, dilapidated and dangerous buildings in an area will be clubbed together to form a cluster. The residents of these buildings will be given houses in newly built buildings of the cluster. Officials said under this scheme, the civic body has prepared 44 zones and work on the first phase is likely to start in October. An official from Thane civic body said the decision regarding exclusion of Koliwadas and Gaonthans would be taken at the government level. Shinde was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts.