The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is unlikely to take back the 90 plots adopted by different organisations, including those under the aegis of political bigwigs from the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to the new open spaces policy, which will be tabled in the group leaders’ meeting next month, a committee of civic officials will decide if private entities should continue to maintain the plot. NGOs seeking to adopt plots will have to send in an application to the committee members.
Acting on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ orders, the BMC has begun the process to take back the 216 plots given out under the previous adoption policy. The civic body undertook the work in phases and issued notices to the organisations handling the plots. However, in July, the government changed its stance and said that private entities can also maintain plots.
The 90 adopted plots account for around 80 lakh square feet of open spaces in the city. These include St Xavier’s playground at Bhoiwada, under the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA), which has Sena youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray as the chairman. It also includes a plot owned by Aarey Bhaskar trust, which has Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu as a trustee, a playground managed by Dahisar Sports Foundation, which has Sena leader and ex-MLA Vinod Ghosalkar as the trustee.
The Poisar gymkhana, Kamla Vihar club and Veer Savarkar Udyan, which have been under the aegis of BJP MP Gopal Shetty for years, are also a part of the list.
The civic body also appointed 21 contractors to undertake maintenance of the 237 open spaces for three years at a cost of Rs243 crore. Civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “Contractors can be allotted any of the plots in the city to maintain. The committee formed under the policy will decide if we need to take back the remaining plots.”