State nod puts Navi Mum­bai back in race for smart city

State govt gives NMMC gen­eral body 30 days to give a fresh pre­sen­ta­tion on project

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

CBD BE­LA­PUR: Res­i­dents can now re­joice as the satel­lite city is of­fi­cially back in the smart city race.

Late on Fri­day night, the state gov­ern­ment gave its ap­proval to Navi Mum­bai’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion for the am­bi­tious project launched by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

T he or­der came f oll owing a se­ries of meet­ings that Be­la­pur MLA Manda Mha­tre and NMMC op­po­si­tion leader Vi­jay Chougule held with chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fadnavis on Fri­day. The meet­ing was also at­tended by Thane guardian min­is­ter Ek­nath Shinde.

Mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Di­nesh Wagh­mare, too, had made a pre­sen­ta­tion of the Rs8,000-crore project to the chief sec­re­tary and had said that an or­der was ex­pected soon.

Late in the night, a let­ter was is­sued by the gov­ern­ment that over­ruled the Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party’s (NCP) re­jec­tion of the project in the gen­eral body meet­ing of Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion’s (NMMC). The chief min­is­ter handed the let­ter over to Mha­tre and Wagh­mare.

Ac­cord­ing to Wagh­mare, “The gov­ern­ment has sus­pended the res­o­lu­tion passed by NMMC gen­eral body and given the green light to present the project to cen­tral gov­ern­ment.”

“The gov­ern­ment has given the NMMC gen­eral body a pe­riod of 30 days to give its pre­sen­ta­tion on the project through the mayor,” said Wagh­mare.

“As promised, we have got the project back on track. The chief min­is­ter has used the pow­ers vested in the state gov­ern­ment un­der sec­tion 450 of the Ma­ha­rash­tra Mu­nic­i­pal Act to over­rule the de­ci­sion of the gen­eral body meet- ing,” said Mha­tre. “Over 4 lakh res­i­dents gave their sug­ges­tions, 56,000 stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in the com­pe­ti­tions. It was ob­vi­ous that there are a lot of hopes of the peo­ple with the project.”

“This de­ci­sion is the vic­tory of peo­ple,” said Chougule. “You can­not take the peo­ple for a ride. They par­tic­i­pated in all the pro­grammes for the smart city project.”

The or­der came as a ma­jor set­back for NMMC’s rul­ing NCP and its leader Ganesh Naik. For the op­po­si­tion, how­ever, the or­der is a ma­jor boost.

Mha­tre said, “Cur­rently, the NMMC’s fi­nan­cial sta­tus is weak as all its funds have been used for var­i­ous projects that were heaped on the city by the rul­ing party. No de­vel­op­men­tal work has been un­der­taken in the last one year. Ex­penses have been made only for reg­u­lar ex­penses of wa­ter, road and other main­te­nance.”

Mha­tre said, “NMMC had re­ceived cen­tral gov­ern­ment funds ear­lier but did it lose its pow­ers then?”

“The NCP tried to mis­lead the peo­ple on the Spe­cial Pur­pose Ve­hi­cle (SPV). The norms clear- ly state that the func­tions and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of SPV will be as au­tho­rised by the ur­ban lo­cal body, which is the NMMC,” said Chougule. “The NCP will have to pay dearly for this mis­take. We are back in the race, but if there is any fur­ther hur­dle be­cause of the stand that the NCP had taken, the peo­ple of the city will not for­give them.”

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