PAP lead­ers call for bandh on Mon­day Mayor up­set af­ter civic chief scraps NCP pet projects

All par­ties slam civic chief’s ac­tion against struc­tures built by the project-af­fected

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

The ar­eas un­der Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (NMMC) will be shut on Mon­day to protest against the ac­tion taken by mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Tukaram Mundhe against struc­tures built by the pro­jectaf­fected peo­ple.

This was de­cided at an all­party meet­ing of project-af­fected peo­ple (PAP) on Fri­day night.

The PAP lead­ers, cut­ting across party lines, met at MLA Manda Mha­tre’s house on Fri­day morn­ing. A protest meet was then held in the evening at Dutta tem­ple in San­pada.

Mha­tre said the traders in the city, too, have ex­tended their sup­port to the bandh. This means all shops will down shut­ters on Mon­day.

“All the PAP lead­ers and traders will gather at Dutta tem­ple hall on Mon­day along with a large num­ber of peo­ple that will send a very strong mes­sage to the en­tire state. We will then re­veal our fu­ture course of ac­tion and not now as we do not want to alert the ad­min­is­tra­tion or the po­lice,” said Mha­tre.

Mundhe came in from strong crit­i­cism at the meet­ing, es­pe­cially by Mha­tre. She said, “We had gone to meet the com­mis­sioner to ask him to stop ac­tion against PAP houses. We ap­pealed to him no to act against them as they are need based struc­tures.”

She added, “How­ever, he is adamant that ac­tion will be taken. We have called for a bandh on Mon­day to protest such ar­bi­trary ac­tions of the com­mis­sioner.”

The PAP claim that there are need-based con­struc­tions which have re­ceived pro­tec­tion from the gov­ern­ment. Mundhe has said he will not touch the ex­ist­ing struc­tures but those un­der con­struc­tion without per­mis­sion will be tar­geted.

The anti-en­croach­ment depart­ment of the NMMC had faced strong op­po­si­tion from the lo­cals in Turbhe when it had last week gone to de­mol­ish a struc­ture there.

The NMMC, how­ever, con­tin­ued with the ac­tion un­der Mundhe’s or­ders, greatly up­set­ting the lo­cals.

Former Cidco di­rec­tor and Shiv Sena cor­po­ra­tor Namdeo Bha­gat said, “We con­demn the ac­tion by the NMMC. We will launch an in­tense ag­i­ta­tion against the anti-en­croach­ment depart­ment.”

He added, “Not one house will be al­lowed to be de­mol­ished. We are ready to face cases for it and even ready to re­sign as cor­po­ra­tor if need be. We will strongly standby any­one who op­poses the de­mo­li­tion ac­tion by the au­thor­i­ties.”

BJP city pres­i­dent Ram­chan­dra Gharat said they have no op­tion but to ag­i­tate.

City Con­gress pres­i­dent Dashrath Bha­gat said they would fight for the rights of the PAP. “We are ready to take to the streets to save their houses, if re­quired. We will not al­low Mundhe to con­tinue with his whim­si­cal ac­tions.”

NCP city pres­i­dent Anant Su­tar said that they were united in launch­ing the ag­i­ta­tion. “It is the need of the hour that we for­get our internal dif­fer­ences and unit­edly launch the ag­i­ta­tion.”

The scim­i­tars are out of their scab­bards in the Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion. Mayor Sud­hakar Son­awane said he will back cor­po­ra­tors if they ta­ble a no-con­fi­dence mo­tion against NMMC mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Tukaram Mundhe for al­legedly can­celling projects, pro­moted by Ganesh Naik-led Na­tion­al­ist Con­gress Party.

On re­ports of an im­pend­ing trust vote against Mundhe, the mayor said, “The de­ci­sion is to be taken by po­lit­i­cal lead­ers. If it is tabled, I will not hes­i­tate one mo­ment be­fore tak­ing a de­ci­sion on it.” The NCP holds ma­jor­ity in the NMMC.

Ral­ly­ing be­hind se­nior NCP leader Naik, the mayor said the com­mis­sioner’s de­ci­sions are “pub­lic­ity stunts”.

“Th­ese projects are a mat­ter of Ganesh Naik’s pride and re­spect and we shall en­sure that they are taken up,” Son­awane said.

Mundhe re­cently scrapped Naik’s pet projects, which in­clude the Rs163-crore so­lar project at the Morbe dam; float­ing ad­vanced ca­su­alty com­plex (FACC) am­bu­lance ser­vice on the Thane-Be­la­pur and Palm Beach roads with an out­lay of Rs3.19 crore; and the Rs20-crore pro­posal for mar­ble cladding of Dr Babasa­heb Ambed­kar memo­rial in Airoli.

Th­ese projects were ap­proved by the gen­eral body of the NMMC.

On the so­lar project, he said, “The mat­ter should have been brought to the gen­eral body which has ap­proved it. If the con­tract and the rates were old, they could have been worked out.”

On the so­lar power project, Son­awane said, “There is no ques­tion of get­ting no pur­chaser for the elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated. We pay to MSEDCL for the power. With our own power, we would have to pay only for the con­sump­tion and will use the power gen­er­ated by us for free.” The cen­tral gov­ern­ment is pro­mot­ing the pol­icy of so­lar power, and here we are can­celling it af­ter gen­eral body’s ap­proval.”

On the FACC de­ci­sion, the mayor said that the pro­posal aimed to pro­vide im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance to in­jured peo­ple on high­ways.

Son­awane had ear­lier termed the de­ci­sion to scrap the mar­ble dome for Ambed­kar memo­rial as ‘de­mean­ing’.

“The NCP is the rul­ing party and the peo­ple of the city have elected us for years. The de­ci­sions taken are not just of the NCP but of the peo­ple. Can­celling the plan is an in­sult to them,” he said.

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