The BMC general body passed 30 crucial proposals within 15 minutes without any discussion on Thursday.
The 227-corporator body is the only one in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that ensures the participation of all elected representatives.
However, in the mad rush before the code of conduct kicks in, proposals such as the appointment of a consultant for the Rs34-crore coastal road was also approved.
The much debated interim open space policy is also expected to be approved in a similar fashion in the next meeting that has been scheduled on January 3.
Once the code of conduct kicks in, the Shiv-Sena-BJP ruled general body will not be able to take any financial decisions.
Similarly, in an unexpected move, the Shiv Sena and its ally BJP corporators approved of the interim policy on maintaining open spaces in the city in the improvement committee. Under the policy, private organisations, non-government organisations and citizen groups will once again get a chance to maintain the 216 plots that had been taken back from them after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a review of the policy.
The ruling parties are now aiming for the final nod.
Citizen activists have also raised the doubts over the hurry behind approving the policy. Why did the civic body need to come up with a temporary policy just before the civic polls, when the issue is pending and being discussed for close to a decade, they asked.
“Why come up with a temporary policy now, just before the election? BMC has still no answer on why it cannot maintain gardens at its own expense. These policies are only creating a third party interest, leading to misuse and corruption,” said Shailesh Gandhi, RTI activist.
Activists have also pointed out that the interim policy is being brought, keeping an eye on the civic polls and could be used by politicians to usurp public-owned open spaces. There is a possibility that the authorities may keep extending the interim policy instead of bringing in a proper one, they said.
Significantly, while the Sena is strongly in favour of the controversial clause in the open spaces policy, its ally BJP ‘s flip-flop attitude has worried them. Earlier, the BJP had backtracked too, after they had approved of the policy in a group leaders’ meeting.
However, BJP corporator and improvement committee chairman Prakash Gangadhare has supported the policy and is keen on getting it approved before the election.
Currently, 141 plots of the 216 have been taken back in various phases.