Mumbai: The wait for the reopening of the Vimal Dhanaji Shinde Multipurpose Community Centre in Sector 16, Vashi, which was closed in 2016 due to its poor condition, seems to continue. The repair work has not yet been completed, causing problems for local residents who are caught in the rivalry between two political leaders in the area.
Vijay Walunj, a relative of a former corporator, stated that the community centre was in an extremely poor condition and could not remain open. Following a suggestion from a local representative, the civic body decided to close the community centre in 2016.
Work halted due to administrative issues
Walunj mentioned that he followed up with the civic body and repair work started last year. However, due to administrative issues, the work was halted, prompting him to stage a protest at Shivaji Chowk. "The work is in its final stages, and it will be opened soon," said Walunj, adding that he recommended the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to operate the centre itself instead of involving any NGO.
The multipurpose community centre was constructed during the tenure of former corporator Raju Shinde and was handed over to an NGO to manage. However, Walunj alleged that the building was utilized for commercial purposes, charging Rs 1000 per month for the gym facility. "I lodged a complaint with the then municipal commissioner, Tukaram Mundhe, leading to its closure in 2016," said Walunj.
CM Shinde: Local representatives failed to reopen the community centre
Contrarily, Shinde stated that the local representatives failed to reopen the community centre in the past five years. "During my tenure, all facilities were provided free of cost, except for the gym, which had operational expenses," said Shinde. He added that a fee of around Rs 4000 per year was charged. "The failure lies with the civic administration and the local representative in reopening the community centre, depriving citizens of this facility," said Shinde.
A local resident expressed their struggles due to the rivalry between the two politicians and expressed hope for the reopening of the community centre. A senior civic official assured that the civic body would soon open the centre.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)