But, you can’t buy crafts yet at Shilp­gram

BMC yet to ap­point man­ager for arts and crafts vil­lage, on which it has spent about crore

Mid Day - - CITY -

MAYOR Vish­wanath Ma­hadesh­war wrote to mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Ajoy Me­hta on Oc­to­ber 8, ask­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion to make ar­range­ments for the in­au­gu­ra­tion on Oc­to­ber 14. But while it will be thrown open, the sale of arts and crafts won’t start, as the search for a man­ager is still on. The de­vel­op­ment of Shilp­gram, lo­cated in Poonam Na­gar at Jo­gesh­wari east, was com­pleted over a year back, but it was not in­au­gu­rated since the civic body failed to ap­point a man­ager for op­er­a­tional and main­te­nance work. The BMC had spent about R 25 crore on the project.

mid-day had first re­ported about the Matoshree Meenatai Thack­eray Shilp­gram Udyan (Septem­ber 6, Septem­ber 28 and Oc­to­ber 8) wait­ing to be for­mally in­au­gu­rated for over a year. The BMC had de­cided to ap­point a man­ager to op­er­ate it as the place was to sell arts and crafts on the lines of Dilli Haat. How­ever, it got stuck in red tape and there was no de­ci­sion on the ap­point­ment, which led to the de­lay in open­ing.

‘Lush green space’

Speak­ing to mid-day, Shiv Sena cor­po­ra­tor Anant Nar, who has been fol­low­ing Shilp­gram since its ini­tial plans, said, “Af­ter many fol­low ups with the ad­min­is­tra­tion, now Shilp­gram will be opened for cit­i­zens. Since the ap­point­ment of a man­ager is yet to take place for its com­mer­cial pur­pose, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has agreed to keep it open dur­ing the evening for vis­i­tors. It is such a beau­ti­ful lush green place and de­vel­oped for peo­ple so they should get to see it as it is the first of its kind in Mum­bai.”

He added, “I have also spo­ken to the ad­min­is­tra­tion for the ap­point­ment of a man­ager to start Shilp­gram’s com­mer­cial use. The busi­ness plan and pol­icy to run this place is ready and ad­min­is­tra­tion has as­sured that soon they will im­ple­ment it.”

Cit­i­zens of Poonam Na­gar are also happy with the civic body’s de­ci­sion to open the arts vil­lage. “We are glad to know Shilp­gram will be opened. We are sure it will be a tourist at­trac­tion and hope BMC will make all nec­es­sary ar­range­ments to tackle the traf­fic. Peo­ple de­serve such at­trac­tions and this one will make life around the Ma­hakali area more in­ter­est­ing,” said Vish­wanath Shetty of Ma­hakali ALM.

Com­mer­cial mat­ters will wait

Speak­ing to mid-day, Deputy Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mis­sioner (DMC), Dr Kishor Kshir­sagar said, “Shilp­gram will be thrown open for the pub­lic on Sun­day evening. The de­ci­sion on the ear­lier plan of com­mer­cial stalls will be taken af­ter some­time, since as of now our fo­cus is on the open­ing of this green space.”

‘Shilp­gram will be thrown open for the pub­lic on Sun­day evening. The de­ci­sion on the ear­lier plan of com­mer­cial stalls will be taken af­ter some­time, since as of now our fo­cus is on the open­ing of this green space’

The sale of arts and crafts at Shilp­gram won’t start un­til a man­ager is ap­pointed

mid-day’s pg 1 re­ports on Shilp­gram and the is­sues re­gard­ing it, on Septem­ber 6 and 28 and Oc­to­ber 8

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