Mumbai : Calling the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee a defunct body that does not play a decisive role in the city’s planning, Shiv Sena corporator Avkash Jadhav wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asking for the dissolution of the body.

Jadhav alleged that the committee bears a callous and indifferent attitude towards issues of heritage conservation. This he said is clear from the step-motherly attitude the committee has shown towards the issue of putting up yellow LED lights at Marine Drive, as directed by the High Court.

Jadhav said: “Despite sending reminders and letters for inspection of the site, no official visit of the committee members has taken place yet. The MHCC is a nodal body and must not act merely as a decorative forum.” Jadhav also pointed out that the BMC spends about Rs 40,000 on one meeting of the MHCC, which meets once a month on an average, only to be an advisory body.

On the other hand, ex-chairman of the MHCC, V Ranganathan said that the MHCC is a statutory body constituted under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act. It is mandatory under the DP rules to set up a body for conservation of Mumbai’s heritage structures.

“Even though MHCC is only an advisory body, the suggestions that it submits to the municipal commissioner are always considered, deliberated and then inculcated in the proposal. Only on rarest of rare occasions are the suggestions over-ruled. At such times, it is mandatory to inform the MHCC in writing about the reasons for rejecting the suggestions,” he said. Rangnathan said that in his tenure as chairman of the MHCC, the committee’s suggestions were rejected only once.

The present chairman of the MHCC, Ramanath Jha was unavailable for comment.

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