After a series of controversies between Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to name the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road Flyover after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The proposal of naming the flyover after Shivaji Maharaj was first proposed by Sena corporators - Vaishali Shewale and Samiksha Sakre, on December 1, 2020. Soon after which, Manoj Kotak - BJP MP from Mumbai North East Constituency, also wrote to the municipal commissioner suggesting that the flyover should be renamed after Shivaji Maharaj.
The proposals were sent to the municipal commissioner's office for approval by the BMC works committee, which was turned down. The commissioner in his remarks said that it’s too early to decide the name of the flyover as it is still under construction.
However controversy erupted, after Rahul Shewale, Sena MP from the adjoining Mumbai South Central Constituency wrote to the BMC administration urging them to rename the flyover after a Muslim Sufi Saint. Following which the BJP alleged that the Sena and BMC is trying to delay the naming of the flyover as majority of the population living there Muslims and the Sena MP is trying to appease his vote-bank by naming the flyover after a Muslim religious leader.
Meanwhile on Friday, Swapnil Tembwalkar - chairperson of the BMC works committee and senior Sena corporator said that the flyover will be renamed after Shivaji Maharaj.
"Today I met with senior engineers of the BMC bridges department, they have said that the flyover will be completed by end of July following which we will officially name it after Shivaji Maharaj," Tembwalkar told FPJ on Friday.
"The proposal of naming the flyover came from Sena corporators only, in the last works committee the agenda was not taken, as it was referred back by the commissioner. In the next meeting we will table the proposal and clear it," he added.
"The BJP has been saying from day one that the flyover should be named after Shivaji Maharaj as it passes through Shivaji Nagar," said Bhalchandra Shirsat - senior corporator and BJP spokesperson in BMC.
"If Sena wants to take credit for renaming the flyover, they can. But everyone knows that BJP has been raising the issue and all our letters and proposals are on record in the BMC," said Shirsat.