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Lata Mangeshkar's endorsement for Narendra Modi: Why exactly?
Future generations of Film historians would dig out the Archives of Indian cinema and inform about the individuals responsible for the eclipse of promising careers of talented singers like Suman Kalyanpore, Sharda and Vani Jayraman. Why the great music director like Shankar Jaykishen was isolated and what happened with Mohd Rafi when the ego or talents clashed with the interests of Koyal of Indian Music would be another interesting subject for dissertations. These issues are not the topic of this article. I would talk about a bridge at Peddar Road, Mumbai and some other properties.

The Peddar Road flyover which abuts Lata didi residence was planned 20 years ago. The idea was once scrapped because of the influential residents living the street side and one prominent name of them was Lata Mangeshkar, Veena Singhal – the then President of Peddar Road Resident’s Association and Asha Bhonsle protested strongly and vehemently against it. 

Later the issue ballooned up and it became an interesting political battle between Raj Thackeray and Lata. Raj warned the State Government that his party wouldn’t allow any flyover to be built if a similar bridge planned at Peddar Road 16 years ago is scrapped because of opposition from a “handful of influential” residents. His comments echoed sentiments of other Mumbaikers before the civic polls that time. 

In Dec 2012 the flyover got environmental clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), thus crossing perhaps the final hurdle on its way. Keeping in view residents' opposition to the project that it will increase air and noise pollution, the MoEF has asked the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to install noise barriers along its alignment during construction. It is important to recall that in anticipation of massive traffic congestion at Haji Ali after the Bandra-Worli Sea Link was opened in 2009, the flyover proposal was strongly taken up with the Centre. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/images/pixel.gifIn its clearance to the project, the MoEF has written, "Though the public hearing on the project (conducted about 18 months ago) was disrupted and ended abruptly, the major issues raised by citizens included noise and air pollution. Hence, the state was asked to submit an action plan and follow it to avoid pollution during the flyover's construction and after it."

To put the records straight – in August 2006 the legendary Singer sisters, soon after the announcement of the flyover project, had threatened to pack up and  move out of their Prabhu Kunj residence. Lata Mangeshkar had once jokingly said she would be able to shake hands with motorists on the flyover from her balcony. For several years now, both the sisters have been complaining about the increasing noise and air pollution on Peddar Road, which is one of the most congested arterial stretches in south Mumbai.

There was another story to add the complexity of the situation that nestles in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. It was reported by that Lata Mangeshkar was demolishing a heritage structure. "The Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) told the Bombay HC that when asked to remove a dilapidated shed of Jay Prabha Studio, singer Lata Mangeshkar began pulling down the Grade III heritage structure. A division bench of Justice Sharad Bobde and Justice V K Tahilramani was hearing Mangeshkar's petition challenging notices issued by the KMC in July 2010, stopping her from carrying out repairs as the studio building is classified as a Grade III heritage structure."

So, if Lata didi is not happy with Congress and openly expressing her love for Narendra Modi, it has a reason which is more personal than in national interest. She is entitled for her views and she can support anyone she desires.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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