Under fire from all sides, NMC now proposes entire land to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak in Dhantoli shelving the plan to allot portion of land for city transport stand. The move is approved unanimously by all parties.
Nagpur: The General Body Meeting (GBM) of Nagpur Municipal Corporation, as expected, turned out be stormy one but it also witnessed bonhomie among the members across party lines on the issue of Dr Ambedkar Smarak. The major part of the GBM saw the ruling and opposition parties resorting to war of words over contentious issues. The Opposition Congress and BSP invariably scored a point or two over ruling BJP and its allies with a flurry of charges as well as a walkout.
The most discussed issue that created a lot of heat in the House was the land for the proposed Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak in Dhantoli. As the House assembled, the issue of NMC move to allot a portion of Smarak land for city transport stand was raised. As soon as the topic was called for discussion in the House, the Ruling Party Leader Dayashankar Tiwari rose to say that the issue has sparked a lot of doubts, speculations and allegations in various sections of people particularly the followers of Dr Ambedkar. A proposal in connection with the proposed Dr Ambedkar Smarak was sent to State Government in 1992. The proposal was approved as it is. However, Tiwari proposed to send back the entire proposal to State Government with a fresh proposal by which entire land would be allocated to Dr Ambedkar Smarak and its convention centre. The move was unanimously approved by the House. In the melee as well as bonhomie, the ruling party sidelined Kishore Gajbhiye, who was sacked from BSP, from speaking on the issue. This ruling folly led to uproar on the part of Congress and BSP members. As the chaos subsided, the Ruling Party Leader table a proposal entailing entire land to Dr Ambedkar Smarak.
The Leader of Opposition Vikas Thakre tried to put the ruling dispensation on the mat by raising the issue of scandalous supply of wood to different crematoriums of NMC by the ‘tainted’ Mahesh Trading. Amidst the bombarding of serious charges by the Opposition, the Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar tried to pacify the frayed tempers by assuring that appropriate legal action would be taken against the guilty after study of the report. No one will be spared, Hardikar stressed.
But there was no respite for the ruling party as Congress picked holes in One Time Settlement (50 percent relief) scheme of NMC for settlement of pending water dues. Replying to the tirade, Chairman of Water Committee Sandeep Joshi clarified that the scheme has not been floated keeping in mind the interest of any section of people. There are only 600 such consumers out of 54700 that owe an amount of over Rs 1 lakh. The beneficiaries are excited with the OTS scheme and they are availing the benefits by rushing to the centres. As far as relief to regular payees of the bills, those paying with four days of receiving bills will get 10 percent relief and those paying within eight days will benefit by 8 percent relief, Joshi said.
Not satisfied with the reply, the Opposition parties including Congress, BSP and others staged a walkout of the House but not before leveling a slew of allegations. The allegations ruffled the feathers of Ruling Party Leader Dayashankar Tiwari who did not mince words in slamming the opposition parties with facts and figures.
Thakre’s colleague, Praful Gudadhe Patil turned the heat on the ruling party as well as NMC Administration by raising the issue of Property Tax mess. He said that the Property Tax has been hiked but the demand notes are being sent to citizens in accordance with the old rates. Clearing the air over the charge, the Property Tax Department said that the assessment of 16000 new property holders has been done afresh and the demand notes will be sent accordingly. The Mayor Pravin Datke directed the department to send the demand notes within a month.
Similarly, Yashashri Nandanwar of Congress raised the issue of broken drainage line near Maskasath bridge with Mayor directing the concerned department to repair the drainage line within 8 days. Bhavna Lonare, also of Congress, touched the issue of delay and irregularities in Gharkul scheme being constructed under SRA scheme in Shrawasti Nagar. Municipal Commissioner said that he will personally review the scheme and the 45 houses being constructed will be completed in 15 days. The remaining 60 houses will be constructed as soon as the genuine beneficiaries are determined. Intervening, the Mayor directed the administration to take action against bogus beneficiaries.