Man behind Kerala House complaint held, buffalo meat sold out on return BMC planned to spend `200cr to rebuild 113 good roads in city
The man behind the Kerala House beef row was arrested for rumour mongering on Wednesday while popular buffalo meat dishes were back on the menu at the state guesthouse canteen and sold out in 45 minutes. The canteen, open to the public, had temporarily discontinued “buff” or buffalo meat amid a political row triggered by an alleged raid on the guesthouse after the head of a fringe right-wing outfit called police to complain that beef was being served there.
Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta, on whose complaint a posse of Delhi Police personnel entered Kerala House on Monday evening, was arrested and questioned for filing a false complaint.
The row ensured a “sold out” tag on the menu board around 1.30pm after the guesthouse eatery, Samridhi, opened for lunch and started serving buffalo meat fry and curry at 12.45pm. More meat had to be brought, cooked and served after the initial 12 kilos were polished off by an unusually large lunch-time crowd drawn to the canteen at the centre of a political storm.
CPM leaders were seen relishing the second batch, although second helpings were courteously declined. “Our prepared stock was enough to serve 150 people during lunch hours,” a member of the kitchen staff said. He informed that anywhere between 60 and 70 plates of buffalo meat were sold every day at Rs50 each.
An estimated Rs200 crore of public money was about to be spent on repairing roads in the western suburbs that were in perfectly good condition — revealing once again the irregularities in the road department and putting the focus back on the alleged nexus between contractors, officials and corporators.
The issue came to light following a review ordered by civic chief Ajoy Mehta. It showed 113 road reconstruction contracts were about to be handed over to contractors, when these roads needed no repairs at all.
Mehta has now decided to reduce the number roads that will be repaired in the western suburbs. The BMC had planned to rebuild 330 roads between Bandra and Dahisar, at an estimated cost of Rs500 crore.
The manipulation in the number of roads that actually needed repairs has once again raised questions over the functioning of the civic road department.