Keeping in mind the possibility of mid-term polls, the Shiv Sena is leaving no stone unturned to create new vote banks and win back old voters it lost during the general election of 2009.
Shiv Sena leaders have now taken up the cause of redeveloping old Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) buildings.
For the past two months, Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai was busy meeting MHADA officials and he proposed the redevelopment of more than 3,000 old buildings in 56 societies in the city. If Desai is successful in his venture, then the Shiv Sena might be able to widen its vote bank by at least a few thousands.
To ensure the venture does not lose steam, the party has planned a morcha outside MHADA headquarters in Bandra (E) on October 8. The party is expecting support from over 50,000 people.
Keep the old rule
On September 9, Desai along with party leaders protested outside MHADA headquarters in Bandra (east) and later met the officials.
During this meeting, Desai told the officials that almost all the 56 societies were against MHADA’s new rule of asking the developer to hand over a certain number of flats post-development, as tenants believed that this acted as a deterrent for builders interested in redeveloping their old structures.
He also said the tenants were in favour of the old rule, MHADA issuing No Objection Certificate (NOC) to builders by charging a certain premium, which was applicable till 2010.
Shiv Sena leaders claimed they tried to resolve the issue amicably with MHADA officials and the administration, but to no avail.
Desai along with other leaders will be visiting each of the 3,000 buildings to persuade the tenants to join the morcha scheduled for October 8.
Asked whether the move was politically motivated, Desai’s answer was a firm no.
“Can’t we raise questions anymore? Isn’t that our duty? It is strange that despite the state government claiming to encourage redevelopment of the 3,701 dilapidated MHADA buildings in 56 societies from 2008, even today lakhs of tenants continue to lead a precarious existence in the dangerous structures they inhabit.
Such a critical issue that concerns the lives of these helpless people needs immediate solution, without imposing burdensome conditions for redevelopment of these rickety structures,” said Desai. “Family size of the occupants of these buildings has increased, but purchasing new flats is out of their reach. Hence, it is necessary that these old buildings be redeveloped at the earliest and on a priority basis. This will save the lives of the occupants, who can fall prey to a possible collapse.”