While there is no clarity whether the two parties will continue with their alliance for the upcoming civic elections, all does not seem to be well between the two ally partners — Shiv Sena and BJP.
The BJP gave Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) bhoomi pujan ceremony before starting work on Colaba sewerage treatment plant (STP) a miss. The ceremony, held on Monday afternoon, was performed by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Sena is the ruling partner in the civic body.
The Sena leaders said that they waited over a month for chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to give them a date but when they failed to get any response from him, they went ahead with the programme.
The Colaba STP — a manifesto promise of the Sena during 2012 elections that has been on the cards for over five years — will finally go on floor before the end of this month.
The plant is expected to treat 37 million liters of sewage water daily. This will also cut down on environmental damage caused to coastal water when untreated sewage water is released into it, said officials.
Commenting on BJP’s absence from the event, the party’s leader in BMC Manoj Kotak said, “We did not boycott the ceremony; I was busy in a party meeting.”
Meanwhile, Uddhav said that he had spoken to Fadnavis on the phone and he had assured the Sena chief of his presence at the event. Also, Thackeray took the opportunity and proposed creating Asia’s largest sea world on the eastern coast of the city while critisising the chief minister’s affordable housing plans.
“The problem of making houses available to the common man is yet to be solved. Announcing affordable housing wherever there is vacant plots is nothing but a verbal play,” said Uddhav.
He added, “900 acres of Mumbai’s east coast should be handed over to the state government and BMC which can then be made available to the public. Even 225 acres of land of Mahalaxmi racecourse should be opened up for citizens.”