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Sena-ruled BMC to give away prime plot in Mumbai worth Rs300-crore to NGO for free

Mumbai city news: The BMC recently acquired the plot from a five-star hotel after a long battle fought by local corporators and residents.

mumbai Updated: Jul 15, 2017 00:24 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Shiv Sena,BMC

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is embroiled in what is estimated to be a Rs300-crore controversy. This time, it is on the ruling Shiv Sena, which has been facing flak for its decision to give away a plot in Vakola to the Bangalore-based Akshaya Patra Foundation, without any agreement .

On Monday, group leaders of political parties in the civic body passed a proposal put-up by the Sena to provide a 3,000 square metre amenity plot at Vakola to the organisation to facilitate mid-day meals to about 5,000 civic students.

The market price of the plot is estimated to be at least Rs300 crore.

However, allegations have come up that the plot is being given away without weighing contenders. The BMC recently acquired the plot from a five star hotel after local corporators and residents fought for it.

Ex-corporator Brian Miranda said, “We had asked for a women and child care centre to be built by the civic body as there are none nearby. If the Sena is keen on setting up a kitchen, why not do it in one of its own vacant buildings? What is the need to give away a prime plot without inviting tenders?”

Miranda is also planning to approach the Bombay high court (HC) to put a stay on the plan.

The civic body is struggling to handle its finances and corporators think it should have auctioned the plot which is a public property. Corporators also alleged that it could be misused by private entities.

Senior Sena leader Yashwant Jadhav said that there was no need to get into an agreement. “It is wrong to make such allegations. There need not be any agreement as we are providing the plot to the foundation to cook mid-day meals for children,” he said.

According to officials, the proposal will be now sent to municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta. His reply will be tabled in the next group leader meeting. Officials said that the administration will have to fix terms and conditions for handing over the plot. Representatives from Akshaya Patra Foundation, however, were not available for a comment.

First Published: Jul 13, 2017 12:17 IST