Af­ter NCP says no, cor­po­ra­tors look at state

Rul­ing party of NMMC re­jects Rs8,000- crore pro­posal, claim­ing spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cle will ren­der cor­po­ra­tors pow­er­less

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

CBD BE­LA­PUR: Even as the satel­lite city gears up to be­come a smart city, the Rs8,000 crore project seems to have re­ceived a ma­jor set­back.

In the spe­cial gen­eral body meet­ing of Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion ( NMMC) on Tues­day, the rul­ing Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NMMC) re­jected the smart city pro­posal.

The NCP has claimed that the pro­vi­sion of spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cles ( SPV) for plan­ning and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the smart city project will leave the cor­po­ra­tors with lit­tle role to play.

Stand­ing com­mit­tee chair­per­son Ne­tra Shirke said, “Ac­cord­ing to the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s plan, the SPV will be an au­ton­o­mous body with the right to de­velop the no­ti­fied area. It will have the fi­nan­cial and ad­min­is­tra­tive con­trol over the city. This sidelin­ing of the lo­cal self gov­ern­ment is a blow to democ­racy.”

While the de­ci­sion by the NCP is be­ing con­sid­ered a death knell for the project, mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Di­nesh Wagh­mare said the NMMC had only sought a con­cep­tual sanc­tion and the fi­nal de­ci­sion lies with the state gov­ern­ment.

“The fi­nal com­po­si­tion of the SPV and the de­tailed project re­port would have come af­ter we got se­lected in the race. Tues­day’s sanc­tion would have al­lowed us to be in the race un­hin­dered,” said Wagh­mare. “While the ap­proval of the gen­eral body is a con­di­tion for qual­i­fi­ca­tion in the race, we are still not out of it as the state gov­ern­ment’s di­rec­tive is fi­nal. The state can give di­rec­tion to NMMC ac­cord­ingly.”

Waghm are said ,“On De­cem­ber 5 we had sub­mit­ted our pro­posal to the state. The state has to eval­u­ate it and then sub­mit to the cen­tral gov­ern- ment by De­cem­ber 15. It is now for the state gov­ern­ment to take a de­ci­sion.”

Wagh­mare said, “The SPV will be headed by a chair­man, who in Ma­ha­rash­tra is ex­pected to be the mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner. The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor could be a pri­vate in­di­vid­ual and not nec­es­sar­ily a gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive. The board of direc­tors would com­prise of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of gov­ern­ment of In­dia and Ma­ha­rash­tra.”

Mean­while, t he op­po­si­tion has al­leged that the NCP re­jected the pro­posal as there was no fi­nan­cial gain for the rul­ing party.

Op­po­si­tion l eader Vi­jay Chougule said, “We will go to the chief min­is­ter and get di­rec­tives from him to over­rule the de­ci­sion.”

S h iv Sena cor­po­ra­tor Kishore Patkar said, “This is cheap pol­i­tics. This is all about not get­ting com­mis­sions from the projects as they will not be brought to the stand­ing com­mit­tee and gen­eral body for ap­proval.

BJP MLA Manda Mha­tre said that she will raise the is­sue in the as­sem­bly if per­mit­ted by the speaker.

Navi Mum­bai is among the 10 cities short­listed in the state for the smart city project.

The NMMC had held sev­eral pub­lic meet­ings, aware­ness cam­paigns and com­pe­ti­tions in its bid to be in the first ten cities to be se­lected for the project. It had re­ceived over 4 lakh sug­ges­tions from res­i­dents.

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