Mumbai: Congress leaders rush to inaugurate Bandra talao revamp project

Insisting it was their project, they held bhoomi pujan for it before Shiv Sena and BJP’s planned inauguration

Even before the beautification of Bandra talao has begun, the race for taking the credit for it has begun. On Saturday, before the Shiv Sena and BJP planned to inaugurate the work, Congress’ former MP Priya Dutt, former MLA Baba Siddique and BMC group leader Devendra Amberkar performed the bhoomi pujan for it.

Congress’ former MP Priya Dutt, former MLA Baba Siddique, and group leader in BMC Devendra Amberkar held the bhoomi pujan of the beautification of Bandra talao on Saturday
Congress’ former MP Priya Dutt, former MLA Baba Siddique, and group leader in BMC Devendra Amberkar held the bhoomi pujan of the beautification of Bandra talao on Saturday

The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in BMC had planned the ceremony for this week. However, insisting it was their work, the Congress beat them to it. Amberkar said, “For the past four years, our local MLA Baba Siddiqui and local corporator Asif Zakaria have been pursuing the project.

They have done continuous follow-ups, but now Shiv Sena and BJP plan to take the credit for the project. We can’t let them do this. That’s why we inaugurated the beautification work.” Upset with Congress’ race for the inauguration, Standing Committee Chairman Yashodhar Phanse called it a publicity stunt.

Phanse said, “After the defeat in the elections, Congress is confused. They have done this for credit and publicity. We had promised the beautification of Bandra talao in our election manifesto, and because of that, I held a meeting to check on the progress of work on November 21.”

After the meeting, Phanse had directed the BMC to complete the pending formalities, including seeking the heritage committee’s permission. He had planned to hold the bhoomi pujan in first week of December. The beautification will cost Rs 5 crore.

Phanse added, “The official written NOC from the heritage committee is yet to be received. Without checking the facts, they inaugurated the work. Since the opening was not official, we will inaugurate the project again at the hands of Mayor Snehal Ambekar.”

Recently, the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee had pointed out some changes in the proposal regarding the walkway and amphitheatre, about which mid-day had reported (‘Bandra talao beautification bumps into heritage hurdle’, November 5). The BMC has included the changes suggested by the heritage committee, which has now agreed to give the NOC.

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