The general body of the BMC on Monday approved the proposal to hand over the mayoral bungalow in Shivaji Park to the public trust set up for the construction of the memorial for former Shiv Sena chief, Balasaheb Thackeray.
The new mayor, however, will have to move into the bungalow in Shivaji Park for a couple of months since renovation of the bungalow located in the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and zoo Byculla will take another three months.
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There is, however, uncertainty regarding accommodation for the new mayor, who will be elected by March 9. Civic officials said that the mayor will have to move into the bungalow in Shivaji Park for at least two months. “Now that the general body has approved the proposal of handing over the trust, the municipal secretary will issue a notice after which the trust will be asked to come and sign the agreement with the BMC. It will easily take three months before the trust is ready to start the actual work on the ground and by then the bungalow in Byculla will be ready,” said the official. He said that technically the present mayor, Snehal Ambekar, can take about one month to vacate the mayoral bungalow in Shivaji Park.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has allocated funds worth Rs 2 crore for the repair and renovation of the bungalow in Byculla. However, civic officials said that the administration will carry out the basic work of painting and minor repairs after which the mayor can move in. “The major repair work can be taken up once the mayor moves in based on his/her wishes. The bungalow is in a functional state and for now the painting and minor repair work can be done which will take around three months,” said an official.
The next general body will however have a tough time approving major proposals in the standing committee and other meetings. Corporators from parties such as the NCP, Samajwadi Party and MNS voiced their concerns over working with BJP as the leading opposition party.
Considering the face off between the BJP and the Sena and the possibility of BJP being a major party in opposition, Rais Shaikh, group leader of the Samajwadi Party said, “The floor management will then go for a toss and it will be very hard to pass the proposals due to which the city will suffer. In case there is a difference of opinion between our parties then there will be more instances of walkouts and protests.”