Need time to to decide on Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum issue: BMC chief Ajoy Mehta

Ajoy Mehta says this is why he cannot comment on whether the functioning of the museum, under Managing Trustee and Honorary Director Tasneem Mehta, is proper or not

BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta was cornered by corporators on Tuesday, regarding the civic body’s hold over the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, and when he will give them the framework based on which it (BMC) is to handle it.

Read interview: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum director Tasneem Mehta speaks out about her reduced power in museum affairs

Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said he cannot say now whether BMC will handle the museum better than it is being currently. File pic
Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said he cannot say now whether BMC will handle the museum better than it is being currently. File pic

Mehta said, “We had the group leaders meeting on Tuesday, they have asked for the framework to be shown to them. Their concern was whether the framework is in letter and spirit, (as desired by corporators) aboutthe audit and control that BMC has over the museum.”

Mehta also claims the issue has just come to him now, and hence he will take some time to delve into the matter, and so, cannot comment on whether the functioning of the museum, under Managing Trustee and Honorary Director Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, is proper or not.

However, corporator Sandip Deshpande of the MNS, who had raised the issue in Tuesday’s meeting, claimed that things are in the final stages regarding the framework on how the museum will function.

He said, “We will have a person with the expertise to handle museums, but he will be a BMC employee and will report to the corporation. He will be the administrator of the museum. The decision of the commissioner has to be final in this case.”

Even Rais Shaikh, group leader of the Samajwadi Party, who was the second person to speak on the matter, claimed that Tasneem Mehta will not be part of the museum.

“People who donated money for the museum want to run it to as their own. We won’t let this happen. It’s for sure that Tasneem Mehta will be shown the door. The commissioner has sought some time; he will come back with the framework on how the BMC will handle the museum,” said Shaikh.

However, Mehta said that he cannot say now whether BMC will handle the museum better than it is being currently. “I have sought time and as things have reached me just now, I wouldn’t be able to comment much on anything,” he said.

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