Cry for Indu Mill land gets shriller ahead of Dec 6

With the death anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar drawing close, the demand for transfer of 12.5 acres at Indu Mill for an "international memorial" for the leader has grown louder. More so, after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's inconclusive meeting with Union Textile Minister Anand Sharma on Monday.

The land at Indu Mill number 5 belongs to National Textile Corporation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had granted in-principle nod to the memorial after an all-party delegation called on him in December last year.

A committee of Union and state government officials was formed to work out modalities such as transfer of development rights and partial value of the prime central Mumbai land worth crores.

There were also technical aspects as part of the land is in a coastal regulatory zone.

RPI leaders have threatened an agitation if the land transfer is not decided by December 6.

Speaking after the meeting in New Delhi, Chavan said, "We have worked toward giving all clearances required from the state. It is now up to the Centre to complete the remaining formalities."

Sharma said, "When a land is vested with a corporation for a period, it is not easy to transfer it."

He said the Centre was working to hand over the land as quickly as possible.

Expressing displeasure at the delay in completing formalities related to the transfer, RPI leader Ramdas Athawale said they would be forced to protest if the decision was not taken by December 6.

"The central government had over a year to sort out all issues they claim are a hurdle. We are firm on our demand that the land should be handed over," he said.

Ambedkar's grandson Anandraj, whose Republican Sena forcibly entered Indu Mill last year, said they were ready to talk to the government.

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