Former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi today launched an online petition seeking intervention of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to save open spaces which have been “usurped by politicians”, across the metropolis.
He appreciated the Chief Minister’s stand to “safeguard” citizens’ interest, but at the same time alleged failure on his government’s part to take up the cause seriously.
“Just four months back people of Mumbai applauded your principled stand that BMCshould take back all open spaces which had been given to private parties. Citizens had protested BMC’s attempt to alienate their rights over their property.
“We hailed your response to safeguard citizen’s interests. Many open spaces have been taken back. We did note that the open spaces usurped by politicians were not taken back, on the excuse that this would be done in a phased manner,” he said in a petition on change.org.
Gandhi further termed as “dishonest”, the reported move to allow a few open spaces to remain the possession of some private parties.
“This is dishonest. It appears that some favoured private organisations, fronts for many politicians, will be allowed to continue their hold over such spaces. This is a dishonest and condemnable move to deprive citizens of their open spaces,” he said.
Gandhi, a noted rti activist, said there is no need to hand over property belonging to the poorest man to a few.
“In this slimy manner many open spaces have been allowed to be usurped earlier. This has been done in the garb of it being a ‘policy’. Citizens are aware that only the lands in the possession of politicians have not been taken over so far,” Gandhi said.
Concluding his petition, Gandhi reposed faith in Fadnavis and urged him to take back the open spaces.
“We expect that you will stop this nefarious move and ensure that these open spaces are taken back by BMC before 30 July, 2016. We have faith that you will do this. You have the power, responsibility and a duty to do this. If this is not done, citizens will know which corporators betrayed them and give their response in the municipal elections next year, ” said the veteran activist in the petition, which will be handed over to the CM soon. APM DK BSA