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Shiv Sena and BMC rarely think beyond Worli, claims Opposition

Opposition claims that Aaditya Thackeray’s Worli constituency has got two beautification works worth several crores going on, and tenders for four more are in the process, which is a lot more than any other ward has got in the city

Work underway at Worli Fort, on June 14. Pic/Atul Kamble

In Worli, it’s raining projects. The BMC has been showering disproportionate love on this south Mumbai pocket, the constituency of state minister and chief minister’s son Aaditya Thackeray, prompting the opposition to urge the civic body to pay equal attention to other wards in the city. In the latest instance, four new tenders worth crores have been issued to beautify Worli, apart from two ongoing ones. 

In the last financial year, G south ward, which includes Worli and Prabhadevi, received over Rs 15 crore for such projects, while M east ward comprising Deonar and Mankhurd got less than Rs 9 crore.

The new set of beautification tenders includes the development of the promenade around Mahalaxmi Race Course at an estimated Rs 6.28 crore. The second tender is for Ghoda Dabkal Ground at Worli Koliwada R1.49 crore. Under the third project, the corporation will install aesthetically appealing and user-friendly BEST bus stops, while the tender is about mechanical sweeping machines at Worli’s Jambori Maidan and the race course cycle tracks for Rs 22 lakh. 

BMC officials said one of the projects also covers the nearby Mahalaxmi. “The BMC will develop a cycle track around the Race Course and also construct a viewing deck. This project includes beautification of Mahalaxmi railway station area,” said an official. Under the project, the BMC will develop a space for kabaddi and kho-kho and also provide facilities for multiple sports. This project will be provided by the state government as the local fund.

A computer-generated image of Worli’s Ghoda Dabkal Ground, where beautification work will start soonA computer-generated image of Worli’s Ghoda Dabkal Ground, where beautification work will start soon

Since last year, the BMC has started many beautification projects for Worli. The beautification of Jambori Maidan was completed recently and it cost Rs 1.50 crore—half the amount came from the state government.

The BMC has started work to give a facelift to the Worli fort at Rs 2 crore. More projects are in the pipeline for Worli—a proposed ‘Beach Walk’ between Nariman Bhat jetty at Worli Koliwada to P Balu beachfront, Prabhadevi. These are other than the regular beautification projects. 

“Worli, Worli, Worli. The BMC and the Shiv Sena feel that Worli is the whole Mumbai. They need to come out of Mumbai. Most of the population of Mumbai lives in the suburbs. But Shiv Sena’s attention does not go beyond Worli, as this is the constituency of minister Aaditya Thackeray. This is an injustice to the rest of Mumbai,” said BJP spokesperson Bhalchandra Shirsat. “As Aaditya Thackeray is also the suburban guardian minister, we hope he will come out of Worli and work for the suburbs.”

MNS leader Nayan Kadam also slammed the Sena. “Shiv Sena never thinks beyond Worli and the island city. In the suburbs, Adivasi padas are still struggling for basic amenities like water and toilets. Charkop is one of the planned areas but the residents of this area have faced water scarcity for ages. Gorai island doesn’t have basic amenities. Now Shiv Sena is also ruling the state, will they give justice to the residents of the suburbs?”

Former Sena corporator from Jogeshwari West Rajul Patel countered the allegations. “If development work is going on in Worli, then the opposition should not be jealous. Aaditya Thackeray has also started various projects for suburbs as the guardian minister.” He added, “When BJP was in power in the state, they also had an opportunity. But they could not use that opportunity.”

Rs 15cr
Worth of projects that went to Worli, Prabhadevi in 2021-22

Rs 9cr
Cost of projects for Mankhurd-Deonar in 2021-22

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