Mumbai, Sep 25: Former Central Information Commissioner and RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi today wrote a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requesting him to protect open spaces in the city and free them from the "clutches of influential politicians".
In the e-mail sent today, Gandhi claimed that there are 90 such open spaces in the megapolis that are still under the control of influential leaders.
In June this year, the activist had launched an online petition seeking CM's intervention to save open spaces which have been "usurped by politicians". Fadnavis had earlier ordered the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take back 216 open spaces, including the iconic Oval Maidan, Horniman Circle and Cross Maidan, that had been 'adopted' by private organisations.
Appreciating the CM's order, Gandhi said, "Citizens were very happy when you ordered BMC to take back all the open spaces and not create any private interests in these. Ashish Shelar and Amit Satam of your party also took public positions in support of this. Many open spaces were taken back, but about 90 in the control of the influential politicians with dishonest aims were not taken back."
The activist suggested the spaces that have been given to private parties for maintenance should be taken back; maintenance of these open spaces should be done by BMC, BMC ought to give contracts to contractors to maintain these open spaces as per fixed norms and to appoint corporates/NGOs/ other voluntary bodies to audit the performance of the contracts.