14 Aug 2022
by Web Desk | Published: 09 Jan 2022
The Shiv Sena-led BMC, in a unique political-business mix, razed enormous illegal structures inside a BJP-controlled club that includes a major Congress minister and other top Mumbai business leaders. The blemish appeared on the prominent Goregaon Sports Club (GSC) in Malad, where certain members and management officials are linked to top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. Aslam Shaikh, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government's Minister for Ports and Textiles and Mumbai City Guardian Minister, is one of the GSC's important members, which includes industrialists, merchants, celebrities, professionals, and major politicians who advise and patronise the GSC.
On January 3, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) crew from P/North descended on the GSC premises and savagely dismantled a succession of temporary or semi-permanent structures, erected or coming up, on a large 50,000 sq. ft. space (almost the size of a hockey field) - designed as a food court. The BMC took harsh action after serving many notices on the GSC, including a strong one 11 months ago, asking it to comply with the MMC Act/MRTP Act because of persistent illegalities.
According to GSC sources, the club's management arrogantly turned Nelson's Eye to the notices and pointed fingers at anonymous "mischief mongers" attempting to smear the club's reputation for personal gain. Despite being shaken by the BMC's sledgehammer on its dazzling premises, the GSC management quickly issued a confidential 4-page statement in which it pledged to absorb the demolition's losses - estimated to be around Rs 12.50 crore - and claimed that "there will be no additional burden on the Club."
Many dubious members, on the other hand, have taken the management's assurance with a grain of salt, dismissing it as "a big gap between words and deeds" based on previous experiences. When a major international external auditor exposed a massive financial scam worth roughly Rs 25 crores in mid-2021, the GSC's 11,000+ members were astonished. Some concerned GSC members petitioned a local court to prevent the report from being made public, while the frantic management surrendered and promised to investigate the suspected mega-scam, but nine months later, nothing has been done to identify the alleged swindlers.
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