BMC To Hold In-Person Public Hearing On Saturday Amid Pandemic
A man talks on a mobile phone while sitting on blocks of concrete surrounded by flood waters in the Tilak Nagar area of Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

BMC To Hold In-Person Public Hearing On Saturday Amid Pandemic

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Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has decided to hold an in-person public hearing on Saturday over a bridge and road project in suburban Mulund.

A senior BJP leader on Friday alleged that the BMC has invited people, including senior citizens, for the hearing, while the civic body claimed that only eight representatives of the affected housing societies have been asked to attend it.

Mumbai is one of the worst-affected Covid-19 hotspots in the country, where the case count has gone beyond 1.92 lakh and the death toll above 8,600.

Officials said the T-ward of the civic body would hold a public hearing at its office on Saturday over widening of Marathon Avenue Road and construction of a new road from water supply pipelines to Guru Gobind Singh Road and overbuilding a bridge above these pipelines.

Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya criticised the BMC for inviting people, including senior citizens in person for the public hearing, and questioned the urgency of the project.

"How does the BMC get the authority to risk the lives of people by asking them to attend the public hearing despite Covid-19 outbreak?" Somaiya asked.

He said the public hearing should be cancelled.

According to the BMC, the project is aimed at improving the road connectivity in suburban Mulund and the road was proposed in the Development Plan of the city.

Kishor Gandhi, the assistant municipal commissioner of T-ward, said only eight representatives of housing societies, which are getting affected by the project, have been called for the public hearing.

"The Union and the state governments have allowed congregation of up to 50 people, but we have just called eight people from the adjoining societies for the public hearing," Gandhi said.

"We can even call only one or two persons at a time for the hearing," he said.

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