Support seems to be pouring in for residents of Shivaji Park in their fight against a proposed move to give the area a heritage tag. The ruling party in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), on Saturday cleared that it will stand by the residents, who are opposed to Shivaji Park being declared a heritage precinct.
Speaking to media persons on Saturday, BJP’s unit chief in Mumbai, Ashish Shelar termed the move to label Shivaji Park as a heritage precinct, which is set to affect redevelopment of structures in the area, as a mindless one.
“We support the residents greatly. It wasn’t visible because we have been busy preparing for a rally (of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi),” Shelar said when asked about why the party was not seen taking up the issue aggressively. Modi is set to visit Mumbai on December 22.
Shelar took pot-shots at the state government for listing the precinct in the heritage category. “We had opposed the list when its draft was prepared by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The draft was later submitted to the BMC, but the state government is responsible for the situation,” Shelar, also a member of the legislative council, said.
Residents are welcoming the party’s support. “We welcome support coming from every side in our fight against the heritage tag,” Pravin Seta, a local resident, said.
Earlier, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), another ruling party in BMC - Shiv Sena,
Congress and NCP have declared their support to residents, intensifying residents fight.
Meanwhile, the authorities have already started hearing suggestions/objections made by residents in this regard. The second hearing is set to be held next week.
The civic body had received 4038 suggestions/objections in connection with listing 948 structures. Out of all the suggestions/objections, 800 were made by Shivaji Park residents.