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Will Shiv Sena control Mumbai realty sector?

Mumbai, Nov 18  () : Realty sector in the finance capital is waiting for the impact of the passing away of Shiv Sena chieftain Bal Thackeray on Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

BMC is a mini-government within Maharashtra and literally controls one of the World’s most costliest properties. Developers are at the mercy of the Sena- BJP combine that controls BMC.

It was in the 80s that Shiv Sena within BMC started forging links with property developers. Realty firms realized that they stood to gain if they went with Shiv Sena. They found that Shiv Sena simplified land acquisition which is a big headache for developers.

In 1995, when Shiv Sena came to power in the State ministry, Thackeray himself described it as one that is remote controlled by him. His first scheme was the slum rehabilitation scheme. Under this scheme builders would get land acquired by the Government and for this it would build houses for the poor in parts of the acquired land. It was a cross subsidy between developer and government. Initially there were some restrictions which Shiv Sena did away with.

Next was the 55 flyovers that Sena constructed in Mumbai at a budget of Rs 1600 cr which shot property prices and made property developers happy. Any builder has to go to BMC for permission and clearances and that is where the Shiv Sena’s power remained.

Yet another project that created a boost for property was the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and lastly the sea link. There is speculation as to who will call the shots. Will it be Uddhav and Raj (who has his own outfit MNS)? These questions will not plague the party for next four years as it romped home in BMC’s last year’s elections.

Political analysts feel that Raj who of late getting back to Uddhav and his father might close ranks more so that they don’t have the crowd puller any more. Sympathy alone cannot take Shiv Sena to garner votes and BJP an ally will take advantage of its weakness .