In a veiled attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the BMC polls, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday alleged that the ruling party was behind the de-reservation of plots worth Rs2 lakh crore meant for public amenities in Mumbai. The party said this was done to benefit a few developers. NCP spokesman Nawab Malik alleged that Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar was behind the de-reservation, which was done through the BMC’s civic improvement committee headed by BJP corporators for years. Shelar refuted the allegations and said he will request chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to investigate.
“All these years, the civic improvement committee worked to benefit some developers. A large number of reserved plots meant for public amenities — including recreational grounds and playgrounds (RG/PG) — were de-reserved in the years of Sena-BJP rule,” alleged Malik.
He said a prime plot at Hill Road, Bandra reserved as playground was de-reserved recently and a housing complex is currently being built on the plot. “This is just one example. I will come up with the list of all such plots in the coming days,” he claimed.
NCP leaders pointed out that ever since the saffron allies came to power in the civic body, the chairman of the civic improvement committee has always been a member of the BJP.
Any proposals to lift reservations put on plots are moved by improvement committee. Once cleared, it is placed before the civic standing committee and then the general body of elected representatives for final approval.
Shelar said he did not play a role in proposing the de-reservation of plots. “Malik has to present proof to substantiate his claims. If the reservation of Bandra plot has changed, then this was done during the previous Congress-NCP rule,” the Mumbai BJP chief clarified.
“The urban development department has the authority to change the reservation of a plot. The Congress held the portfolio back then, the local MLA was also from the Congress. Even today, the sitting corporator of that area belongs to the Congress. I will soon ask the chief minister to probe the matter of the Bandra plot so the truth comes to light,” Shelar added.