Cidco razes Ulwe bldg, PAP protest NMMC cuts bud­get for mega projects to tide over fund cri­sis

DE­MO­LI­TION DRIVE Three-storey struc­ture brought down amid heavy po­lice se­cu­rity; politi­cians back project-af­fected

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­ G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­

The City and In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (Cidco) on Fri­day de­mol­ished a ground-plus-three-storey struc­ture in Ulwe’s Sec­tor 10 de­spite op­po­si­tion from the pro­jectaf­fected peo­ple (PAP). The PAP had, us­ing po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion, suc­ceeded in pro­tect­ing the un­der con­struc­tion build­ing, from be­ing de­mol­ished on two oc­ca­sions in the past.

On Fri­day, when the Cidco team ar­rived at the spot, tension again gripped Ulwe as the PAP shouted slogans against Cidco and even blocked the ap­proach route in a bid to stop them from bring­ing down the struc­ture. Heavy po­lice ban­dobast was in place to main­tain law and or­der.

Peas­ants and Work­ers Party (PWP) leader Raviseth Patil said, “We will not tol­er­ate if any PAP struc­ture is touched. This is not po­lit­i­cal pres­sure but a so­cial one.”

“Cidco needs to relook its pol­icy and im­ple­ment it prop­erly. Cidco MD San­jay Bha­tia had said that struc­tures within 200m of the vil­lages will not be touched, but oth­ers be­yond it will be de­mol­ished. Th­ese struc­tures are amidst sev­eral other build­ings and within the lim­its set by Cidco. How then can Cidco de­mol­ish them?” said Patil.

Congress leader Ma­hen­dra Gharat said, “For the air­port and Nhava Sheva projects, Cidco comes with folded hands to the PAP. It has not taken ac­tion

Cidco of­fi­cials de­mol­ish the ground-plus-three-storey struc­ture in Ulwe on Fri­day.

against the il­le­gal godowns, but is go­ing against the PAP’s houses.”

The war­ring par­ties then pro­ceeded to the Uran po­lice sta­tion to lodge a com­plaint.

Ac­cord­ing to a


Subhash Gosavi, an of­fi­cial from Cidco’s Unau­tho­rised Con­struc­tions Depart­ment who was head­ing the de­mo­li­tion drive, was told by the Cidco man­age­ment that he had to get the job done or he would face de­part­men­tal

ac­tion. Fol­low­ing the or­ders, Gosavi re­turned to the site and as the crowd dis­bursed in the af­ter­noon, de­mol­ished the build­ing. Gosavi did not com­ment on the de­mo­li­tion de­spite re­peated at­tempts.

In a ma­jor de­ci­sion, NMMC, which has been fac­ing a ma­jor fi­nan­cial crunch, has re­vised its bud­get spend­ing, rel­e­gat­ing sev­eral mega projects an­nounced ear­lier by the rul­ing NCP, to the back burner and us­ing the funds for more ur­gent works that are re­quired for the func­tion­ing of the city.

The pro­posal pre­sented in the gen­eral body on Fri­day in­creased the spend­ing on im­por­tant civic works like re­pair and main­te­nance of roads and foot­paths, hold­ing ponds, gar­dens, cre­ma­to­ri­ums, toi­lets and se­cu­rity from Rs224 crore to Rs377 crore.

Spend­ing on big-ticket projects was re­duced by over half from Rs281 crore to Rs128 crore.

The rul­ing NCP had prior to the Lok Sabha, as­sem­bly and fi­nally civic elec­tions in April this year ap­proved projects worth hun­dreds of crores in a hurry. The huge bur­den on the civic body did not seem to be a con­cern as the elec­tion loomed large. The de­ci­sions brought the civic body to bank­ruptcy as LBT, its main source of in­come, was abol­ished.

The projects that have now been side­lined are the ones that the NCP had re­peat­edly show­cased dur­ing its elec­tion cam­paign.

With the civic body find­ing it dif­fi­cult to meet its reg­u­lar ex­penses to main­tain the city, it has un­der­taken a re­view of the pre­vi­ously ap­proved projects.

Ac­cord­ing to NMMC sources, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has al­ready de­cided to can­cel the pro­pos­als of all the cor­po­ra­tors who have lost. It is be­lieved that the de­ci­sion will pro­vide a re­lief of Rs250 crore to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The mega projects taken up by the ad­min­is­tra­tion were fol­low­ing the in­struc­tions of for­mer guardian min­is­ter and NCP leader Ganesh Naik.

An NMMC source said: “The projects will re­main on the back burner un­til the fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of the civic body im­proves. Tough de­ci­sions have to be taken to tide over the fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Tak­ing up pop­ulist projects is not go­ing to help. The pri­or­ity is pro­vid­ing the ba­sic needs.”


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