Promises are made to break…


Citizens irked over the casual approach towards development, complains of shoddy civic amenities…

[Jawed Khurshid]

Mumbai: A month has passed since the new municipal government took over and the tall promises they made during elections has vanished like snowflakes. Traffic, parking issues, garbage disposals and water supply suffer from the same old discrepancy. The politicos who never tired visiting their constituencies, too disappeared and remain inaccessible now.

The people have a sordid story to tell about their representatives. Nirmal Mishra, a former copy editor of Bombay Times, quipped, ‘doesn’t the dilapidated condition of city’s roads itself speaks of how serious they’re regarding civic issues?’ Potholes, like small pox, have infested the suburban thoroughfares, which is due to poor quality of bitumen used. Smelling a rat? ‘The government is giving us gyp as the city is shorn of its additional megawatts. The result: neon signs are shoving away its rich and more illuminating cousin,’ complained Imran Shaikh – a budding fashion designer.

The attempt to brighten up the face of metropolis and supplementing it as well as the rural sectors with additional megawatts has started fraying in highly hot and humid May. We are on a way to super-powerdom, but the ‘power’ (electric) eludes us. Ms. R. Undre, a social worker said, ‘the island city was initially meant for a few lakhs population, which has soared and became overcrowded mostly due to immigrants who have robbed the city of its quaint and outmoded infrastructure. The 60% of our population resides in slums and ghetto type habitation, which saps its energy and its aesthetic beauty.’ The BMC and the government should devise some policy to combat the menace, she advised.

‘The corporators are, in most cases make big promises but fail to provide basic infrastructure,’ observed an audiophile and businessman, Krishna Raj. On the question of ever expanding shantytowns he said that the state government should develop Satellite Townships with adequate infrastructure, which may shoulder the burden of this titanic city. This would be cathartic to the millions of denizens that are undergoing the trauma of traffic snarl, bad roads and water crisis to name a few.

The local self-government – BMC, is the richest municipal corporation in the country. The revenue generated by it is beyond one’s imagination. Still, traveling through the 30 KM stretch – Sahar Airport to any luxury hotel in downtown – is a painful exercise; so menacing is the traffic snarl that it took two hours to cover the distance! Moreover, one is frequently visited by the disgusting sights of urchins – who belong to slums that have mushroomed around the international airport – attending to nature’s call.

The stink emanating from piled-up garbage and open drains are highly taxing on our health. This reeks of administrative mismanagement on part of the Brihan Mumbai Mahanagarpalika.



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