Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Wednesday told the state Assembly that he will ask Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner (BMC), Swadheen Kshatriya to meet all stakeholders to resolve the Shivaji Park beautification row amicably.
He told political parties not to make the project a “prestige issue’’. Chavan said this when the Congress and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) moved a calling attention motion against the Rs 7-crore beautification project. The Shiv Sena-controlled Standing Committee of the BMC had cleared the project.
Chavan said, “If, as some legislators point out, residents have objections to the project, they can be heard.’’
The project has been caught in a political cross fire between the Sena and the MNS, with the latter supporting residents, who are against the building of a wall at the park’s entrance. In the Council, the Congress and MNS came together against the Sena. The National Congress Party also backed the MNS, while BJP legislators kept mum.
Congress legislator, Aslam Shaikh, sought a stay on the project saying work orders had been granted without issuing tenders.
Chavan said the BMC Act empowers the standing committee and the commissioner to issue work orders if they deemed fit without issuing tenders. He said recreational ground norms were not applicable to Shivaji Park as it was a beautification project.
MNS legislator, Nitin Sardesai, said the BMC had not considered public sentiment. Sena legislators defended the project saying it was a tribute to Maratha warrior king.