Senior Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar on Wednesday accused the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government of trying to turn the Mantralaya in Mumbai into a cage
Senior Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar on Wednesday accused the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government of trying to turn the Mantralaya in Mumbai into a "cage" through its plan to put a steel net at open spaces in the complex to curb incidents of protest and suicide attempt by visitors, the PTI reported on Wednesday.
Mantralaya is the administrative headquarters of the Maharashtra government in south Mumbai.
According to the news agency, the Maharashtra government has decided to issue colour-coded and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) passes and pre-book time slots for appointment to people visiting Mantralaya in a bid to restrict their entry.
A detailed order issued by the Maharashtra home department on Tuesday said people visiting the Mantralaya will not be allowed to roam around in departments or floors other than those mentioned in their entry passes. It also asked the officials to install invisible steel ropes at open spaces in corridors and windows.
Taunting the government over the issue, Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar, who is Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, said, "This triple-engine government is basically a circus created for grabbing power and it has turned the Mantralaya into a cage. Congress ruled the state for so many years, but it never required to put any steel net at the secretariat building," as per the PTI.
A wide safety net was put up on the second floor of the Mantralaya after some incidents of people jumping from the top floors were reported in the last few years. But this did not stop such attempts, as people took to climbing on the net during protests.
Referring to it, the Congress leader said, "During the 2014-19 period, when the BJP-led government was in power, a horizontal net was put (at the secretariat). This three-party government was formed after breaking away parties, and now a cage has been put in place through vertical steel nets."
Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said, "People visit Mantralaya for their work because local level officials fail to address their needs. Under this government, the Mantralaya is lenient with middlemen but harassing common man."
According to official data, the average number of Mantralaya visitors is 3,500 and goes up to 5,000 on the day of the cabinet meeting.
(with PTI inputs)