BJP to file contempt plea on Mithi River project: Somaiya

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Mumbai, Feb 4 (UNI) Senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya today said despite the Maharashtra government's claim on the Mithi river rejuvenation project, little progress was made in the last 30 months.

Demanding an apology and explanation from Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for declaring the river as a 'nullah', the former BJP MP wondered whether the move was to favour the builder lobby.

''Is this a game to accommodate a couple of major builders in and around the Bandra-Kurla complex and also to accommodate the Slum Rehabilitaion Authority (SRA). Is it not a contempt of court?'' he questioned the government.

According to Dr Somaiya, a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by him, has revealed that only Rs 41 crore were spent by the government since July 26, 2005 -- the day unprecedented floods hit the metropolis claiming more than 500 lives -- of the Rs 570 crore Mithi River project proposal in the MMRDA jurisdiction.

''Of the Rs 41 crore, Rs 38 crore were spent till June 2006. It may be noted here that the total project cost as per the government's submission is Rs 1,200 crore,'' he said.

According to the MMRDA, 35 per cent of the amount was to be contributed by the Central government and another 15 per cent by the state government. But nothing has come till now, and even the Union government has turned down the project, Dr Somaiya said.

Stating that the involvement of multiple agencies and the persistent fighting between them were the major factors for the tardy work progress on the project.


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