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Bandra candidates face voters’ questions

Protection of open spaces. Regulation on new structures in gaothans. Supporting citizens on getting the Metro to go underground.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2009 02:15 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

Protection of open spaces. Regulation on new structures in gaothans. Supporting citizens on getting the Metro to go underground.

The five candidates contesting the Assembly polls from Bandra constituency made these promises to a crowd of 300 voters during a heated ‘meet your candidate’ event organised by the H-West Ward Citizens’ Trust and Action for Good Governance and Networking in India on Friday.

Sitting Member of Legislative Assembly Baba Siddiqui, BJP candidate Ashish Shelar, independent corporator Rehbar Khan, Samajwadi Party candidate advocate Rizwan Merchant and Tejpal Chaddha from Bahujan Samaj Party faced voters.

“We asked certain questions to all candidates so that voters can chose their own candidate depending on the answers,” said Anandini Thakoor, programme convener and chairman of the H-West Ward Citizens Trust.

Responding to a query raised on getting the Metro to go underground instead of passing as an elevated structure over Linking Road, Siddiqui said: “There is a status-quo on the metro works, so nothing is moving. And if it does come, we will ensure that no buildings are affected.”

Siddiqui said that an underground metro would cost more but residents said an elevated Metro line would be noisy and cause congestion.

Shelar supported the underground Metro. “ We can fund it through private–public partnership. I will get it done once I am elected,” Shelar said.

Sparks flew over the gaothan issue. Siddiqui was questioned about the development of old structures in gaothans into towers and the lack of infrastructure.

“The floor space index allowed for the structures is 2.5 and we will make sure that it happens according to development rules,” said Siddiqui. People want this area to be developed. I don’t support commercial buildings there.”