Mumbai News: Congress MLA Varsha Gaikwad Opposes BMC's RG-PG Adoption Policy

Mumbai News: Congress MLA Varsha Gaikwad Opposes BMC's RG-PG Adoption Policy

A delegation, led by Congress city president Prof. Varsha Gaikwad, met BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and submitted a memorandum pointing out flaws in the new policy.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 12:13 AM IST
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Mumbai Congress president Varsha Gaikwad | File

Mumbai: Congress MLA Varsha Gaikwad has vehemently opposed the adoption of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) recreation grounds (RG) playgrounds (PG) policy. In a meeting with BMC Commissioner Dr. Iqbal Singh Chahal on Monday, she demanded the policy's immediate scrapping. Gaikwad emphasised that the decision on the RG-PG Policy should be made once the corporation body comes into existence.

A delegation, led by Congress city president Prof. Varsha Gaikwad, met BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and submitted a memorandum pointing out flaws in the new policy. Mumbai Congress stressed that approving the policy without consulting public representatives of over two crore citizens is illegal and detrimental to democracy.

BMC's old policy for vacant lots, plots

Under BMC's old policy for vacant lots, plots were leased to developers or organisations, allowing construction on only 25 to 30 percent of the total area, with sports and other activities expected. Congress alleged that 27 developers earned millions by setting up offices and buildings without conducting any sports or activities.

The new policy refunds 50 per cent of the total building cost and other construction on the plot without taking the plots back from developers and institutions. The plot will be given back to the same developer or organization for the next 10 years. Gaikwad criticised this approach, stating that developers profit at the expense of BMC and the people. She highlighted the need for developing open spaces in Mumbai for the benefit of its residents.

Currently, Mumbai has 1104 vacant lots covering 562 hectares. While 1000 of these have been developed by the corporation, 53 sites have been offered to developers. The fate of the remaining 40 spaces remains uncertain.

Gaikwad criticized BMC's expenditure of Rs 1,700 crores on beautification, which she deemed futile for Mumbaikars. She urged the corporation to invest an additional 350-400 crores to develop these open spaces for the city's residents.

Before the approval of this crucial policy on vacant seats in Mumbai, it was expected to be discussed in the House. Gaikwad condemned the decision-making process led by an administrator appointed by the state government, leaving BMC corporators without any power. She criticized the decision's apparent favoritism towards a select few, neglecting the fundamental right of Mumbaikars to open spaces. Gaikwad labeled the policy as completely unjust and unconstitutional.

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