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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Will not allow space at Gadkari katta to criticise our policies: Thane civic body

mumbai Updated: Sep 28, 2019 00:57 IST
Megha N Pol
Megha N Pol

Ram Ganesh Gadkari Rangayatan’s katta, a popular venue for activists and NGOs in Thane to hold press conferences, will now be off limits for them.

The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) recently issued a circular to the management of the katta, which has a small canteen and a lawn on the premises of the theatre, directing them to prohibit people and organisations from holding proceedings that criticise the civic body and its decisions.

Manish Joshi, TMC’s deputy municipal commissioner and head of the estate department, said in his letter, “Ram Ganesh Gadkari theatre is the municipal corporation’s property. However, for the past few months, it is observed that the Gadkari katta on its [the theatre’s] premises is used to hold conferences against the corporation’s schemes, decisions and functioning. This has tainted the image of the TMC.”

“Henceforth, this space should not be allocated to any individual or organisation with an intention to criticise the corporation or its policies,” the letter read.

Gadkari katta is one of the prominent spots for most press conferences that are related to civic or social issues.

Most political parties also use this platform for press conferences.

To oppose the move, Thane Matadata Jagran Abhiyan had called the press for tea and snacks at the katta on Friday because holding a conference is not allowed.

Sanjeev Sane, founder of Thane Matadata Jagran Abhiyaan, said, “Residents have the right to question policies of any local self-governing bodies. The corporation is depriving us of this right.”

He urged the civic body to withdraw the directions.

“This is an unconstitutional move and will affect the city as there will be no one to question the irregularities in the corporation’s functioning. Gadkari is not a private property of the corporation but is a public amenity. The decision should be immediately withdrawn,” added Sane.

Manish Joshi, however, refused to comment on the issue.

Thane Matadata Jagra Abhiyan had recently conducted a press conference to criticise the cluster development scheme of the corporation. Many such press conferences by activists, political parties and various worker unions are held here because of its convenient location.

First Published: Sep 28, 2019 00:57 IST

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