Mumbai: Shiv Sena finally hands over letter to office bearers of Dabbawala for Dabbawala Bhavan

Dipti SinghUpdated: Friday, March 04, 2022, 11:04 PM IST
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After being criticised for not being able to fulfil its promise to set up a Dabbawala Bhavan, the Shiv Sena has now finally handed over a letter to the office bearers of Dabbawala earmarking a land in Bandra where the Dabbawala Bhavan will finally come up. The Dabbawala Bhavan’ was first proposed and promised in the run-up to the 2017 BMC election by the Shiv Sena, in its manifesto, however, it was kept aside citing non-availability of land.

The BMC has now allotted 286.27 sq metre land at Shirley area in Bandra for the ‘Dabbawala Bhavan’ building.

After making it part of its election manifesto, the proposal was first moved by Shiv Sena corporator and now Mayor Kishori Pednekar — in March 2019. Pednekar’s notice of the motion to set up a Dabbawala Bhavan in Mumbai was approved in a general body meeting by then-mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar.

“Dabbawalas have a special attachment with the financial capital. They have garnered praise and earned recognition globally for management in delivering tiffin without any glitches. Taking note of their contribution in Mumbai, there should be a dedicated Dabbewala Bhavan on the lines of ‘Varkari Bhavan’. The Bhavan will serve as accommodation for their family members visiting Mumbai for treatment or other purposes,” Pednekar had stated in the proposal she moved into the BMC's general body.

In his budget speech, 2021-22 municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal sanctioned Rs 1 crore for setting up the Dabbewala Bhavan in central Mumbai. However, later the civic body said that currently, no land is available with the Estate Department and also the Development Plan (DP) 2034 does not have any reservation marked for ‘Dabbewala Bhavan’.

Replying to Pednekar’s proposal, the civic administration has said that currently there is no land available for ‘Dabbawala Bhavan’ and the proposal will be considered after the civic body finds land and then the reservation will be made.

“As per section 36 of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act (MR&TP), 1966, a reservation for Dabbewala Bhavan can be made on municipal land. However, currently, there is no such land available with the Estate Department, so it is not possible to reserve the land. In future, if we get vacant land, then subsequently reservation will be made for Dabbewala Bhavan,” the BMC administration replied to the Mayor.

The civic body had also suggested another option of starting a dedicated area for dabbawalas on any reserved municipal community welfare centres by following the procedure. However, after being mocked by the opposition that project was given a miss in the budget 2022-23. On Thursday Mayor Pednekar along with Standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav along with BMC officials handed over a letter of land allotment to the office bearers of Dabbawala Bhavan. " We have fulfilled what we have promised," said Jadhav.

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