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Mumbai: Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam today alleged that the Civic Body Chief Ajoy Mehta has been misguiding and misleading the people of Mumbai. Mr. Nirupam had earlier exposed the BMC Commissioner of sanctioning the permission for amalgamation of the ‘Dhobi Ghat’ in Mumbai’s Mahalakshmi area, which is a 140-year old heritage site, with the adjacent Shri Ram and Hanuman Temple in the vicinity to be brought under the SRA Scheme and redeveloped under the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971.

Declining the claims made by the Mumbai Congress Unit Chief, BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta stated in news reports that the BMC has no role in the entire process since the plan is approved by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). Mehta further said that the matter falls under the SRA’s purview.

Attacking the civic body chief once again, Sanjay Nirupam said, “Ajoy Mehta is now denying all the claims but he is aware of the fact that he has been caught red-handed. Only because the BMC Commissioner has been caught in his own act, he is trying to shift the blame on the SRA. The letter written by the Chief Engineer of Development Plan to the architect clearly states that it was the BMC Commissioner himself who accorded sanction for amalgamation of the existing Dhobi Ghat and Sri Ram & Hanuman Temple under the SRA Scheme. It is clear that the said amalgamation was done at the behest of Mehta himself in order to benefit the builders”.

Earlier Sanjay Nirupam had visited the Dhobi Ghat in Mahalakshmi and produced a letter dated August 13, 2018 which was written by Chief Engineer of Development Plan S.P. Darade to Architect Anand Dhokay proposing that the entire   Dhobi Ghat, the existing temple and the surrounding open spaces spread over a total area of 2650 sq. mt be amalgamated and redeveloped under the SRA Scheme. Nirupam also accused the BMC Commissioner of conveting the 140-year old Dhobi Ghat into slums to fill coffers of private builders.

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