ramakant-mhatreIts often alleged that the Congress in Navi Mumbai has always tried to stall the 2.5 FSI for Navi Mumbai with the single aim of not letting NCP get the credit for the same. This time round too when Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik and MLA Sandeep Naik pushed the issue in the state assembly session and received a positive reply from the Chief Minister, former NMMC Opposition Leader Ramakant Mhatre has written to the CM a letter that might go against an early sanction of 2.5 FSI GR for Navi Mumbai. Just when apartment owners living in dilapidated CIDCO homes thought their dreams of new redeveloped homes got a major boost with the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan asking the UD dept. to make a report on bringing about a GR, dirty politics seems to be at work again ! Atleast that’s the allegation on former Congress Corporator Ramakant Mhatre who was also Opposition Leader in NMMC and has written to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan demanding that the Chief Minister stay a proposal approved by the NMMC General Body in January 2011. The proposal was in regards to making a Development Plan and Impact Assessment Report for analyzing the feasibility of redevelopment in Navi Mumbai based on parameters of infrastructure, population and basic amenities in the city. Ramakant Mhatre has said that since these reports are being made based on the population figures of 2001 census, it will form an incorrect base for the study. He has said that since the counting under census is underway and new population figures of Navi Mumbai are expected to be out by 2012, NMMC should wait for the same to make its development plan and impact assessment report. However, the NCP knows better than to believe that the concerns Congress’s Ramakant Mhatre is raising now is anything but genuine. Sources say that the NCP party is well aware of the fact that the letter is written with the only intent that NCP should not get credit for getting 2.5 FSI in Navi Mumbai. Corporators of areas that are awaiting the GR on 2.5 FSI desperately are publicly accusing the Congress in Navi Mumbai for working against the larger interest of residents living in dilapidated CIDCO homes. NCP Corporator Kishore Patkar says that a study and impact assessment is a must to bring about 2.5 FSI in Navi Mumbai. Echoing the opinion of the party, Kishore Patkar said that by clubbing development plan and impact assessment report in his letter, Ramakant Mhatre is deliberately trying to misguide the Chief Minister. The allegations being made by NCP is with a reason. This is because when the proposal was tabled and approved in NMMC in January 2011, the Congress corporators in NMMC did not raise any concerns in the general body meeting. However, later when the issue gained momentum with Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik and MLA Sandeep Naik raising it with the Chief Minister and in the state session, the Congress dashed off the letter to the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. Perhaps, that’s why the NCP sees the move of Ramakant Mhatre as nothing but a political conspiracy. Patkar, who represents the dilapidated buildings in JN-1 and JN-2 Type buildings in sector 10, does not mince words to say that even prior to this, Ramakant Mhatre has tried to stop the proposal of FSI, especially when Ashok Chavan was the Chief Minister of the state only so that Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik led NCP does not get the credit for the same. Even this allegation is with a reason. After all who does not remember how former CM Ashok Chavan had announced during NMMC poll campaign saying that if voters get Congress Mayor elected in NMMC he will sanction 2.5 FSI. Ramakant Mhatre however refutes the allegations being made against him. Calling Kishore Patkar a fool, he says that it is not he who is misguiding the CM but Kishore Patkar who is misguiding the public. While at the state level Congress and NCP form the democratic front in the state and have been giving anything between 2 to 4 FSI sanctions for redevelopment and SRA schemes in neighboring city Mumbai, Navi Mumbai is still awaiting a decision on FSI under these very same criteria for decades. Its unfortunate that, for their own vested interests, a few senior Congress leaders of Navi Mumbai are working against the larger interest of these poor people living in dilapidated buildings. With both Minister Ganesh Naik and MLA Sandeep Naik raking up the FSI issue, it will be a wait and watch whether the Chief Minister will give his nod to the 2.5 FSI GR. With bureau inputs and Monika Bhosale, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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