Congress corporator Sheetal Mhatre led a rally at Kanderpada, Dahisar, on Monday to protest against the civic body's decision to hand over a plot that was originally reserved for the fire brigade, to a private developer for commercial purposes.
The protestors included representatives from NGOs. They waved black flags and shouted slogans criticising the decision. At least three persons were detained by the MHB police.
Mhatre told journalists that the about 4.5acre plot on the Dahisar Link Road was reserved for the fire brigade. But on the instance of the Shiv Sena MLA from Dahisar it was allotted to the developer.
"The BMC has allotted more than half of the plot to a private developer for constructing two highrises. The developer has promised to build the fire brigade facility free of cost," said Mhatre.
"In fact, the BMC should have constructed the fire station and used the remaining land for public amenities or for housing firemen instead of giving it to a private developer. The civic body could easily spend Rs50 crore to build a fire station on its own," the Congress corporator said.
According to sources, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte had at a meeting with then member of Parliament Sanjay Nirupam and local corporators and residents on May 28 last year, directed that the commercial use be revoked.
The BMC had revoked the decision to use the land for commercial use. "Local MLA Vinod Ghosalkar later met Kunte and told him that giving it away was in the interest of the locals as well as the BMC," Mhatre said. She insisted that there was no way that commercial exploitation of the plot would benefit locals.
Mumbai mayor Sunil Prabhu said it was not possible for any developer to commercially exploit the plot. "According to the permissions given, the builder will build the fire brigade there and handover the plot to the BMC," he said.