Mumbai: Launching an attack on the Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA and former state minister, Ashish Shelar alleged that the Sena allotted the residential part of Goregaon's Aarey Colony to private builders.
Earlier, during the supplementary discussion in the ongoing winter session of the state assembly, Sena MLA Ravindra Waikar proposed a plot in the Aarey Colony to be declared as a residential zone and demanded redevelopment of shelter for the tribals living there.
Objecting to the demands Shelar stated Waikar's proposition to be a ploy to enable the Sena to easily hand over the land to builders.
“Sena promised to declare Aarey as a 'forest area'. But now the same party, in the name of rehabilitation, is trying to relocate the tribal settlements so that it could gift the area to the private builders,” alleged Shelar.
BJP also said that the Sena either needs to declare Aarey a forest or declare it as a residential zone, as a dual status cannot be given at the same time.
Shelar also asserted that the BJP is not against providing the land to tribals. But it will object to any attempt of the Sena to give it to private builders.
“The culture and heritage of the tribal people need to be preserved. The government has to ensure clean water and better roadways. But any attempt of giving the land to private builders in the name of redevelopment will be thwarted by BJP,” added Shelar.
Similarly, taking a jibe on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Shelar alleged the civic body is giving away contracts to realty firms above the estimated cost.
The Bandra MLA stated the civic body's 60:40 payment scheme is allowing contractors to make an extra gain of Rs 399 crore.
“Under the new government, contractors have bid Rs 836 crore for the 290 roads, which is 40 per cent above the estimated costs. This clearly reflects the corruption that is inside BMC,” stated the BJP leader.
Demanding a high level probe, Shelar asserted BMC is favouring the contractors lobby.
However, BMC Commissioner Parveen Pardeshi clarified that the corporation refrains from giving out contracts on such exhorbitant rates and that the civic body does complete scrutiny of the project before passing the tender to ensure no losses.
The BMC Commissioner informed that under the 60:40 method of payment introduced by BMC, the civic body pays 60 per cent of the payment and holds the remaining amount till the defect liability period (DLP) is over.
“The 60:40 method was introduced to avoid losses. Even if the estimated cost is high, we are not likely to face any losses as we don't pay the full amount. We also get an interest from the remaining amount,” said Pardeshi.