Free Press Journal

MBMC’s ploy to privatise Jesal Park Chowpatty draws flak


Bhayandar : The BJP-led Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has stoked yet another controversy by giving an official nod to assign a private player for the maintenance and upkeep of the Bhayandar creek, popularly known as the Jesal Park Chowpatty. This in-exchange of commercial exploitation in the form of allowing food kiosks to generate revenue at the waterfront.

Despite strong protests by the opposition parties, the BJP managed to pass the resolution on the virtue of their majority in the general body house. Though the foreshore land has been handed over by the district collector, the MBMC has been restrained from leasing out the open space to private entities. However, defending the move, a senior MBMC officer said, “We are not renting out the space but intend only to outsource the maintenance work for better upkeep.”

Interestingly, municipal officials and contractors have earlier been booked under the Environment (Protection) Act for massive constructions in the ecologically sensitive area which falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ).

Apart from political parties and social organisations, local residents have registered their protest against the move which according to them will not only create an unhygienic atmosphere but would also pose a great amount of inconvenience to visitors especially senior citizens.

A similar attempt to set up stalls at the scenic creek front was made two years back, however, thanks to the opposition by local residents, the civic administration was forced to go on the back foot. The Shiv Sena has threatened to launch an agitation if the administration buckles under the pressure of the rulers and goes ahead with the privatization process.