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Nirupam seeks scrapping of Dhobi Ghat redevelopment

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Sanjay Nirupam AV

Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam Monday wrote a letter requesting Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to scrap the ongoing redevelopment of iconic Dhobi Ghat under the SRA scheme.

Nirupam had last week alleged the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) illegally granted permission for the amalgamation of Dhobi Ghat near Mahalaxmi, a 140-year-old heritage site, along with the nearby temples under the Slum Redevelopment Scheme (SRA).

“We have already exposed the vested interests of the BMC chief Ajoy Mehta through a letter dated August 13, 2018 which was written by Chief Engineer (Development Plan) to the architect.

“After being nailed, Mehta is now attempting to shift the blame to the SRA claiming that it was the purview of the SRA and not the BMC. But the main issue here is amalgamation of this 140-year old heritage site should not be allowed under the SRA Scheme,” Nirupam stated.

He requested the chief minister to immediately stay the BMC’s action “for the sake of preserving the iconic site”.

Clarifying that he was not against the redevelopment of Dhobi Ghat, the Congress leader said he only wanted that interests of the residents of the area are protected.

The BMC had already denied the allegations of Nirupam.

Meanwhile, Nirupam targetted the BJP-led state government over the killing of man-eater tigress T1 by a sharpshooter who was part of a team of forest officials in Yavatmal district.

The Congress leader sought to link the deaths of people who were attacked by the big cat in the past to the “failure” of the Maharashtra government in constructing toilets, which he said forced the villagers to defecate in open.

“The killing of the tigress is a barbaric murder. While ‘Avni’ was termed as a man-eater, most of its victims lost their lives when they left their houses to relieve themselves in the open. If these people had access to toilets, this wouldn’t have happened.

“Our Forest Minister (Sudhir Mungantiwar) wouldn’t have had the opportunity to kill the national animal of the country in the name of safety. Why toilets were not constructed in Yavatmal district? Instead of constructing more toilets for the people, the government hired a sharp shooter to kill the big cat,” he alleged.

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