Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s lack of response to being felicitated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has prompted the civic body to scrap the Mumbai Bhushan and Mumbai Ratna awards all together.
The BMC had proposed in May, 2012 to confer the awards to persons who have contributed in the city’s development following a notice of motion raised by leader of the house Yashodhar Phanse.
However, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte turned down the proposal stating that celebrities don’t have time for the BMC.
"Many years have passed since the BMC decided to publicly felicitate Sachin Tendulkar. The mayor and municipal commissioner had sent him repeated reminders requesting him to give time for the felicitation. But, he hasn’t been able to do so given his busy schedule. It is quite possible that many other celebrities might do the same if we organise a felicitation programme," Kunte said in a written reply.
Kunte added that conferring awards is not mandatory for the civic body. "Since the BMC is a local self government body, whose primary objective is to provide basic facilities to citizens, it is not mandatory and feasible for us to confer awards on citizens."
Phanse was of the opinion that many persons have worked selflessly for the development of the city and therefore the BMC is obliged to felicitate them. "It is very sad that the administration has turned down the plan. We will refer it back to them," said Phanse.
The civic body slapped a fine of Rs4.35 lakh fine on Tendulkar in October, 2011 for moving into his new bungalow at Perry Cross Road in Bandra (West) without procuring the occupation certificate.