Don't bat for Mayor's bungalow over our Gymkhana, members tell BMC
They're ready to approach court if gymkhana is picked for mayor's bungalow
Drop the gymkhana, go for the Mahalaxmi plot, seems to be the slogan of former and current employees of the BMC, who are members of the Municipal Krida Bhavan. The civic body is eyeing the Bhavan's gymkhana as a site for the mayor's new bungalow.
Ready to go to court
The members are ready to approach the court if things don't go their way. Joining them in their endeavor is the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which is also recommending the no-nonsense 11,972 sq m plot in Mahalaxmi for the bungalow instead. BMC has not said anything about its final plans yet. mid-day reported on Friday in the front-page report, 'Mayoral musical chair moves to Mahalaxmi,' about BMC's Plan B for making the bungalow at the Mahalaxmi plot, which is 11,972 sq metres, and located next to the Racecourse. However, Sena seems to be keen on the Shivaji Park gymkhana, spread over 2,400 sq m.
'Right of BMC employees'
If sources are to be believed, BMC is also in the process of appointing consultants to survey the gymkhana to develop it as the Mayor's bungalow. However, the complete ignorance of the Mahalaxmi plot has irked civic employees, who want to preserve their gymkhana as it is the only place for them to enjoy recreational activities.
Backing them up is the MNS. Speaking to mid-day, Sandeep Deshpande, MNS leader from Dadar, said, "We'll not allow this to happen at all. The gymkhana is the right of the civic employees, who cannot afford memberships at big clubs. It also helps the sportsmen who work in BMC. MNS completely supports the members of the gymkhana and opposes the plan of constructing the mayor's bungalow there."
The gymkhana, which has around 10,000 members, has been almost non-functional since four years, claimed members, as BMC kept calling it dilapidated. Despite that, they have neither repaired it nor informed members about what will happen to their memberships in case the bungalow comes up there.
A BMC employee who is also a member of the gymkhana said, "We wanted the gymkhana to be renovated, and not pulled down for converting it to the Mayor's bungalow. We'll surely approach the court, and not allow this to happen at all. As employees, we deserve to carry on with the sporting activities we have been deprived of for the past four years."
A senior civic official said, "We have received the objections of the civic employees who are also members. If Shiv Sena finalizes the gymkhana, then we'll have to look for an alternative space for the BMC employees' sports facility. As Sena has not discounted their original plan despite being given the Mahalaxmi option, an alternate sports club with all kinds of modern facilities will be developed for the employees after identifying a location for the same, which will mostly be in the suburbs."
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