MVA's stalling of fort project in BMC laughable

Published: 17 February, 2020 05:12 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

A Sena corporator said that there are many forts in Mumbai and the beautification of all should be taken up at the same time

Bandra fort. File pic
Bandra fort. File pic

It is united we stall as the state's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance members — the Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP, put up a united front in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) Standing Committee meeting to reject a R20-crore proposal mooted by BJP's Bandra (W) MLA Ashish Shelar to beautify the 17th century Bandra Fort.

Earlier this month, the standing committee had deferred the proposal to give the fort a makeover. Some of the points the proposal had were a cycling track, use of basalt rock in the garden's sitting area and installing a plaque narrating the fort's history. In terms of public amenities, it mentioned building toilets for visitors, among other facilities.

Some concerns are that significant encroachment in the area must be cleared first and then work taken up. The Aghadi allies also pointed to several other problems in the plan. A Sena corporator said that there are many forts in Mumbai and the beautification of all should be taken up at the same time.

If there are problems in the proposal made by Shelar, they should be addressed. Yet, if the proposal is simply being stopped because it is mooted by the BJP then that is petty and should be avoided at all costs.

For years now, there have been pleas to develop and preserve the city's forts. These are glorious repositories of a slice of history and if they do need a makeover, let us start if funds are sanctioned and viable proposals are mooted. It is laughable to say that every fort has to be worked on together — they can be worked upon one at a time. Put the good of the people, the city and tourists at the forefront. Projects should not be politicised or stalled simply because of ego tussles. If there are valid points to address then do so by all means, but if it deserves a green light, it is churlish to put obstacles here.

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