The sitting MP, Milind Deora, says his constituents have kept him on his toes over the years.
What is your biggest achievement as MP?
Some of my biggest achievements are the cell phone tower radiation policy to deal with the threat of radiation, opening up lighthouses across India to the public and developing them as tourist locations, and the land policy for land leased out by various port trusts that was released in January. I also spoke against the ordinance to protect convicted politicians.
You have spent 70% of your funds in the constituency, which is only slightly more than the rest of the MPs. What were your limitations for not spending more?
From 2009-2011, the MPLADS funds were Rs. 2 crore each year, which was raised to Rs. 5 crore from 2012. That amounts to Rs. 19 crore for the last five years, all of which is sanctioned, and projects worth Rs. 13.31 crore have been executed. The rest is in the process of being cleared and stuck in bureaucratic procedures.
Does being an MP who also holds ministerial positions (telecom and shipping and ports minister) take away focus from the constituency?
As an MP my job is to address the constituency's issues in the city and also represent them sincerely in Parliament. My Parliament track record speaks for itself. I could push for major decisions that have a direct impact on the larger public. My constituents have kept me on my toes.
Redevelopment of old buildings and poor infrastructure continue to remain key issues in the constituency. What is the best way to tackle these issues?
Repair and redevelopment of south Mumbai is necessary but needs to be done by getting the community together and not allowing vested interest such as private builders make windfall profits, without accountability. The policy framework has been created and the first-of-its-kind cluster development programme is being undertaken at Bhendi Bazaar. This I am sure will be a model policy for Mumbai and rest of India. Itfs a historical move in redesigning the old city of Mumbai.
What will be your priorities if elected as a third time MP?
My priorities will be to implement the cluster development policy in south Mumbai on the lines of Bhendi Bazaar as well as the waterway project, approved by my ministry from south Mumbai, to Navi Mumbai and the Sewri Nhava Sheva sea link, and opening land on the other side of the Mumbai harbour for affordable housing. Additionally, pushing for a directly elected mayor with additional powers and responsible to the people.
Graphic: Milind Deora's performance treatment
Graphic: Promises and questions