Ambedkar memorial: Sena says financial issues behind NCP demand
The Shiv Sena which had gone soft on municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, during the discussion on demand for marble cladding of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial in Airoli, says there are financial issues behind the demand for marblecladding by the NCP.
While a couple of Shiv Sena corporators had joined the NCP and the Congress in castigating Mundhe for cancelling the proposal and opting for painting of the dome of the memorial, top Shiv Sena leaders, including opposition leader Vijay Chougule and MK Madhvi, among others, did not have a go at Mundhe.
Madhvi said, “We too want marble-cladding for the dome. The memorial for the architect of the constitution should be a landmark unlike any other. Cost cannot be a factor in it.”
He said, “However, there is certainly more to the NCP demand than what it is claiming to be. There are major financial issues here. It is indeed surprising that the ruling party got a Congress corporator to raise the issue through a calling attention motion in the house. Why did they not have the guts to do it themselves?”
Claiming lack of transparency in the project, Madhvi said, “There is no clarity about the area of work, the cost factor etc. A simple proposal stating the marble-cladding work will cost Rs 19 crore had been introduced in the house earlier and was passed. No details had been given. The project has been much delayed. The ruling party leaders declared several dates for completion of work. No action was even taken against anyone for the delay.”
Stated Madhvi, “First of all there is an issue with the availability in Rajasthan, of the quality of marble that is proposed to be used in the project. There is a possibility of seconds being used or the marble being imported, which cannot be of the same quality.”
He added, “If the cost of the marble is taken into consideration at a higher level, add to it the other raw materials and construction cost, the maximum cost will work out to Rs2000. While the area of work is not being disclosed, the mayor did during the discussion reveal that it was 5,000 sqft area. The total cost works out to just Rs 1 crore. Even if you double the cost, it will be Rs 2 crore.”
The PWP organised a protest in Uran on Wednesday at which the intent letters for 12.5% land, given by prime minister Modi two years ago to the JNPT project-affected people (PAP) were burnt. The PAP are yet to get possession of the promised land.
The protest was led by PWP taluka secretary Mahadev Gharat at Karal Phata.
The PAP have been fighting for the past 27 years over the much-delayed handing over the plots which are compensation for the land surrendered by them to JNPT.
While the UPA government had failed to resolve the issue, the present government after taking over, had assured that the matter will be resolved within 6 months.
On August 16, 2014, prime minister Narendra Modi, who had come to JNPT for the inauguration of port based SEZ project, had handed over letters to some PAPs stating that they were being allotted plot under 12.5% scheme.
JNPT had then assured the PAP that 111 hectares of land will be distributed to them within six months.
While there was initial euphoria over the allotment, the PAP said that they soon realised that they had been taken for a ride. The letter did not mention any detail of the plot or the time frame for allotment. The PAP also found out that a large part of the land came under CRZ zone and hence could not be developed. They have since been alleging that JNPT has cheated them.
Gharat said, “The PAP are upset with JNPT, the state government and the central government, as their hopes have been dashed. Despite repeated assurances, they have not yet got their land. Our struggle is now peaking.”
Last year, Uran Utkarsh Samiti president Gopal Patil had organised a protest ‘shraddh’ of the intent letters. A black flag protest was also organised during Modi’s visit last year.
Earlier this year, JNPT had identified a separate piece of land for allotment to the projectaffected under the 12.5% land allotment scheme.
The land that had earlier been earmarked for the PAPs had run into trouble over CRZ issues. The PAP have objected to the present plans stating that they are being cheated by JNPT.