The Mumbai Congress plans to take to the streets next week to protest against the civic body’s proposed open spaces policy. The party has also alleged that a club promoted by Sena minister Ravindra Waikar had not paid crores of rupees to the civic body for possessing an open space under the controversial caretaker policy.
The policy, which will be tabled before 227 corporators in the general body meeting in December, retains the adoption policy, but discontinues the caretaker policy. Activists, experts as well as the opposition have alleged the BMC is shielding political leaders from the ruling party, who own plots under the caretaker policy, by not initiating action against them even after brazen violations.
Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai Congress chief, on Friday, demanded that all agreements in cases where the norms have been flouted under the caretaker or adoption policy be revoked. “The authorities should conduct an independent audit of all nine plots, which have political leaders as their trustees, that have violated the norms by giving open spaces for cultural and political activities, thus denying entry to citizens.”
Nirupam alleged the case against Matoshree Sports Club, maintained by Sena leader Ravindra Waikar’s trust, is pending since 2005, although the dues run into crores. “The BMC has failed to pursue the case in the past 10 years owing to the pressure from the ruling party,” said Nirupam.
The BMC officials denied commenting on individual cases, but said once the new policy is approved; action will be taken in case of violation of agreements.
“The Matoshree Sports Club has only paid Rs1.5 crore towards dues so far. The BMC had, in 2005, sent an eviction notice to the club, as it had taken no prior permission for sports activity. After 10 years, too, the club allows commercial and sports activities at abysmally high prices, but faces no action,” alleged Nirupam.