CM claims Cong, NCP’s policies to blame for Kamala Mills blaze.
Mumbai: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday announced that a committee comprising a retired judge, retired official of urban development department and an architect would probe the usage of mill land, including the Kamala Mills compound, where a massive fire swept broke out last December, claiming 14 lives.
In a reply to a calling attention motion by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar in the Assembly, Mr Fadnavis said that as per the mill land redevelopment policy in 1999, the government had decided to allot a third of the total land each to the Maharashtra Housing And Area Development Authority (Mhada), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and mill owners. But, in 2001 the decision was changed and only one third of open land was given to government authorities.
The CM also claimed that the policies of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government were responsible for the Kamala Mills fire and announced a probe into the procedural lapses. “The previous government gave away the entire mill land to the mill owners and developers and ensured that the mill workers did not get their rightful homes. The Kamala Mills fire was due to the sin committed by the previous government,” Mr Fadnavis alleged. He claimed that 95,000 square metres of land was given for information technology-related activities. “We will probe whether the FSI for IT (activities) was misused at Kamala Mills and other places where mill land redevelopment happened,” he added.
The chief minister said that audit and fire compliance of all structures was being done now. “Our government has changed the 2001 decision and we will give houses to mill workers from the third of land that is for Mhada,” he added. He added that if there were any violations, penalties would be recovered.
Meanwhile, Opposition members protested and got into the Well before the speaker. They created an uproar over the rejection of their adjournment motion regarding non-implementation of the loan waiver scheme. Leader of Oppos-ition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil had alleged that only 19 lakh farmers had benefited from the loan waiver and criticised the government for not giving financial relief for farmers affected by hail storms and unseasonal rains earlier this month. The Opposition members also displayed a photograph of Dharma Patil, an 84-year-old farmer who committed suicide at Mantralaya recently.
Speaker Haribhau Bagde subsequently adjourned the House for 20 minutes. The Opposition continued their protest in the Well. A discussion on hailstorm and unseasonal rains in which seven people were killed moved by the treasury benches was postponed by the chair and the House was adjourned for the day.