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
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.”