Adding more fuel to the controversy over the name of the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link road flyover, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said on Monday that it would be inappropriate to decide on its name because it was still under construction.
The BJP planned to pin the ruling Shiv Sena on the name issue after MP Rahul Shewale approved a request from local residents that the flyby be named after a Muslim saint. Manoj Kotak, a BJP deputy, in a letter written last year, requested that the flyby be named after the warrior king Maratha Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
At the works council (suburb) meeting on Monday, in a response to letters written by Sena boss Vaishali Shewale and Kotak to name the bridge after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the BMC administration said the work was not yet completed. “Construction work is still ongoing. It was delayed for various reasons. Considering this situation, it will take time, technically, it is not possible to give it the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ”, said the BMC in its response.
Following this, BJP boss Mahadev Shivgan introduced a motion against BMC’s response to name the flyby after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj; however, the chairman of the committee and director of the Sena, Swapnil Tembhwalkar, rejected the proposal. As a result, the BJP companies left the meeting.
Shivgan said the BMC’s response was wrong as the flyby is expected to be ready by mid-August. “Officials from the Bridge Department said the bridge could be open by August 15. In view of this, we should adopt a motion to name the bridge after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. But then the Sena rejected the proposal without accepting the suggestion, ”said Shivgan, who is also a member of the committee.
The BJP accused the Sena of debasing the Warrior King. “After joining the Maha Vikas Aghadi, the Sena has already forgotten about the Hindutva. Now they don’t care about Shivaji Maharaj anymore, ”said Prabhakar Shinde, leader of the BJP group.
The Shiv Sena denied claims by the BJP that it was delaying the suggestion to name the flyover after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and said the proposal was rejected because the city administration gave a negative response to the request. “The BJP is just politicizing the issue and wants to take credit for everything. All committee members want the flyover to bear the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. As the administration’s response was negative, we decided to reject it, ”Tembawalkar said.