Special Correspondent

It will oppose repeal of Urban Land Ceiling Regulation Act

Shiv Sena to be without its ally BJP in agitation

‘Repeal of the ULCRA would corner the poor; policy is builder-centric’

MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena will take to the streets once again to demand affordable housing for the poor. It will oppose the repeal of the Urban Land Ceiling Regulation Act (ULCRA). The time-tested “Roti Kapda Makan” will be its slogan. This time too, as in the case of the agitation against rise in prices, it will be without its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has supported the repeal of the ULCRA.

Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray will lead a morcha on Thursday from the Sena Bhavan to the Collector’s office in Bandra to protest against the repeal of the ULCRA and demand housing for all.

Party leader Subhash Desai said on Wednesday that the State housing policy only provided for satellite housing complexes, which would be far away from the city. The poor would have to live there and travel to the city for work.

Mr. Desai said the main issue was affordable housing and the Sena would take this issue forward in a big way in the coming months. The repeal of the ULCRA would lead to more slums and push the poor into a corner.

He alleged that the housing policy was builder-centric and did not take into account the real needs of the city. He criticised plans to make Mumbai a Shanghai and fill it with high-rise apartments.

The Sena leader alleged that the State housing authority was lax in building houses for the poor or rebuilding the ones which were falling apart.

He defended the party’s Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalp which promised to provide housing to 40 lakh families when the saffron combine was in power. He said the people had criticised it but no one came up with an alternative. In fact, the Congress Government took the same project forward under a different name, he claimed.