No need for review, just scrap policy, says Congress

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 19, 2016 01:18 IST

Scrapping the open spaces policy instead of reviewing it – the Opposition parties demanded on Monday after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis asked civic chief Ajoy Mehta to review the controversial spaces policy.

Congress leaders claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been ‘misleading citizens by pretending to be concerned about the issue’ and taunted the Shiv Sena for its ‘double standards on the policy’.

Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai Congress unit chief, said in a press conference, “The policy was first passed in the civic improvements committee, which is headed by a BJP corporator. In the general body too, the BJP did not say anything against it. Now, by asking the chief minister to intervene, the party is only looking at image-building.”

Nirupam also alleged that the state government has not written to Mehta officially about reviewing the policy.

“There has been no official communication on this. The policy will have to be submitted to the government once it has been passed by the BMC. The government, however, should immediately scrap it. All open plots should be under the BMC,” he insisted.

Last week, the ruling Sena-BJP in the BMC passed the recreational ground/playground policy (RG/PG policy), which threatened the existence of green spaces in the city. BJP leaders though sought an intervention from the chief minister for a review, two days later. This has become another bone of contention for the Sena and the BJP.

Meanwhile, the MNS demanded that leaders from both parties surrender all open plots under their control. Sandeep Deshpande, MNS group leader in the BMC, said, “We want the plots to be surrendered immediately otherwise we will stand up against them.” He also demanded that the BMC release a list of politicians or private organisations, who showed interest in acquiring plots before the policy was passed.

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