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Madrasa under bridge could cause tension in area: Sena

Shiv Sena says that constructing madrasa under the Milan Subway Rail Over Bridge would cause conflicts in the locality; wants the structure shifted to R&R building

Chances that the already delayed Milan Subway Rail Over Bridge (ROB) getting deferred further is high. The Shiv Sena (SS) is opposing the construction of a religious structure under the bridge that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has approved.


In dispute: According to Shiv Sena, the Milan subway rail over bridge
that connects Santacruz West to the East is a sensitive zone, as various
processions of both the religious faiths pass through this area, which could
lead to potential conflicts during festivals. FILE PIC


Shiv Sena fears that the construction of a madrasa will lead to communal tension in the area along with continuous law and order problems. The bridge that connects Santacruz West to the East is a sensitive zone, according to Shiv Sena, as various processions of both the religious faiths pass through this area, which could lead to potential conflicts during festivals.

Earlier this year, MMRDA had said that it would throw open the Milan ROB before the monsoon season, but it was delayed.  Besides the design of the steel bridge passing over railway tracks not being finalised, the other reason behind the delay was the pending Resettlement and Rehabilitation(R&R) issue of the madrasa that was obstructing the construction of the bridge.

However, after repeated meetings between MMRDA and madrasa owners, the latter agreed to shift under the bridge where MMRDA agreed to give them a 1,200 square feet plot for constructing the madrasa.

But after Shiv Sena started opposing the construction, a meeting was convened at MMRDA headquarters in Bandra yesterday among Additional Metropolitan Commissioner Ashwini Bhide and Shiv Sena MLC Anil Parab, Sena Corporator Chandrakant Pawar and Congress MLA Krishna Hegde.

Hegde said, "Those opposing the shifting of the madrasa are acting like hypocrites. On one side they say that they are not opposed to the Milan Subway ROB. However, in reality they are opposed to everything in regards to the shifting of the madrasa. I initiated a joint meeting between officials of the authority and the leaders of the Shiv Sena as well as BJP. I am trying hard to convince them, but they do not seem to be convinced."

Speaking to MiD DAY, Shiv Sena MLC Anil Parab said, "We are not at all opposing the R&R issue of the religious structure but our only demand is that MMRDA should rehabilitate them in the R&R building where other Project Affected People (PAP) will be rehabilitated and not under the ROB as it can lead to communal tension in the area."

MMRDA speaks
According to Additional Metropolitan Commissioner Ashwini Bhide, the authority has no other alternative but to rehabilitate the madrasa under the flyover.

"It is very well within the state government's rehabilitation policy. In other infrastructure projects, we have shifted religious structures in similar manner. I do not think those opposing the shifting have a strong case. We are optimistic of resolving the issue soon through mutual understanding," said Bhide

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