For the residents of Naigaon in Dadar, Dr N. A. Purandare Stadium is the only place for sporting activities. The BMC had given this stadium to KEM Hospital on lease for 99 years.
However, the BMC has reportedly planned to construct a club house on this land which has made local residents aggressive to save their only place for sporting activities. On Tuesday, tension ran high here as the BMC tried to take possession of this ground amidst the protest of local residents. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale intervened into the matter and tried to pacify local residents by assuring them to convey their feelings to concerned authorities.
A meeting of local public representatives and residents had taken place in this stadium to oppose redevelopment of this stadium. The public representatives had assured them to save this stadium but BMC personnel tried to start their renovation work on Tuesday. Local residents opposed this move and asked them for required permission. The residents were then shown a redevelopment plan of this stadium where a four-storey building having two big halls, one AC hall and a gym is proposed to be constructed. This further enraged local residents who have started to plan a massive agitation against this move.
Meanwhile, Sena MP Rahul Shewale reached there and tried to pacify people by assuring them that their demands will be granted after submission of a memorandum.
When contacted, assistant municipal commissioner Vishwas Mote said that there is no plan for privatization of this stadium. Only beautification work is being done there and it will benefit local residents, he added.
MLA Kalidas Kolambkar said that he opposes privatization of this stadium and he extended support to the local residents’ agitation in this regard. He also demanded that the BMC should beautify this stadium and open it for public use.
Yuva Sena president Aditya Thackeray also jumped into this controversy and tweeted that he discussed the stadium issue with civic officials. The stadium is being renovated to provide latest sporting facilities for local youths and it will remain open for local residents.