THE PROPOSAL to appoint the BMC as the single planning authority for the entire city has sparked a political fight with the Congress opposing the move.
On Wednesday, municipal commissioner IS Chahal presented a budget estimate of Rs 39,038.83 crore for the 2021-22 year. Citing revenue losses and to achieve speedy development, the Shiv Sena-led civic body has requested the state government to allow the BMC’s appointment as the single planning authority.
A day after, Mumbai Congress President Bhai Jagtap held a press conference in the BMC headquarters and said the Congress will not support the idea. “Like the BMC, other agencies like the MMRDA, MHADA, MIDC have also made great contributions in the development of the city. If any organisation is not doing its work properly then it can be improved but giving all powers of development to the BMC is not right,” he said.
At present, there are several other agencies like the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) that make their own development plans for the area which they own.
Although the Congress has an alliance with the Shiv Sena in the state government, the city president has clarified that the Congress will contest solo on all 227 electoral seats in the BMC election. In the past few months, the Congress has been aggressively targeting the Sena in the BMC. The BJP has taken a balanced stand on appointing the BMC as the single planning authority. BJP leader Ashish Shelar said although the BJP wants the BMC to be appointed as the single planning authority, but the civic body’s proposal lacks proper study on how would it be implemented.