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Old Posted May 27, 2007, 12:28 AM
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Jai Jai is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
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Beauty before utility for BMC
Naresh Kamath

HT Epaper
26 May 2007

RESIDENTS MAY be complaining of inadequate and contaminated water supply, but the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is spending crores of rupees beautifying pumping stations and lakes instead of paying more attention to plugging the problems.

On Friday, the Standing Committee of the civic body passed a resolution giving a green signal to the beautification of the Dadar pumping station at a cost of Rs 40 crore and the Powai lake for Rs 43 crore.

It is a cause that saw the ruling Shiv Sena and the opposition Congress team up to pass the proposal. Stringent opposition from the BJP, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) did not matter.

"Since the BMC has surplus money in its coffers, spending such an amount is justified," Congress cor porator Sameer Desai said. "The place will be the pride of the city."

In case of Powai, the BMC will also develop the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Udhyan, spread over 40 acres. While the strengthening of the Powai dam is also part of the project, money will also be spent on construction of gates, compound walls as well as landscaped gardens.

"Citizens have to face a daily battle for water and instead of increasing water supply, the BMC is only interested in beautifying," MNS corporator Rajendra Lad said. "This only shows where their priorities lie."

In case of the Dadar pumping station, the plan entails creation of a garden zone, which is to hold an amphitheatre and murals, complete with illumination. BJP corporator Bhalchandra Shirsat is opposed to the idea of the BMC spending taxpayer money on such projects.

"Sponsors should be roped in for the project. We should spend BMC money on other priority works," Shirsat said.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Manukumar Srivastava defended the plan, saying sponsorship would mean the sponsor's name would figure at the site rather than that of the BMC.

"Our aim is to beautify the place," said Srivastava. "Other works like increasing the water supply or changing pipelines will continue unhindered."
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