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Raising a stink

india Updated: Oct 09, 2009 01:38 IST
Rajendra Aklekar

Thirty-six-year-old Yogesh Anand Raje, a finance executive, is worried about the new 2BHK apartment he recently bought at Kanjurmarg after taking a huge loan.

“I have just begun paying back the installments,” he said. “But I am wondering whether I did a right thing by buying this apartment.”

Mumbai’s new dumping ground is coming up across the highway that Raje’s swank home overlooks. Raje fears that this will cause real estate prices here to crash because of the stink the dump will raise.

The Kanjurmarg dumping ground, with a garbage capacity of 6,000 tonnes a day, will come up on 141 acres at a cost of Rs 20 crore. Civic officials said the ground will be developed scientifically with waste processing technology, composting and a waste-to-energy plant.

“But a dump is a dump,” said Raje’s 34 year-old wife, Mayuri, an accounts executive. “We should have thought of moving to the western suburbs. And then there are power cuts too.”

Candidates are promising they will stall the dumping ground if elected.

“I have been the only one who has been raising voice against the dumping ground and locals know about it,” said Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate Mangesh Sangle.

“If I win, I will see that the dumping ground does not come up here.”

“I will continue to put in the best of my efforts to see that the dumping ground site is out of our constituency,” said Nationalist Congress Party contestant Pallavi Patil.

Vikhroli is an important seat for the Shiv Sena and the MNS. While Raj kicked off his anti-north Indian campaign here in 2008, this is where Uddhav held is first Assembly election rally last month.

Sena’s Datta Dalvi, is banking on the local network of Sainiks. He is confident that the MNS will not be able to divide Marathi votes. “In the Lok Sabha elections, we had a Gujarati candidate (Kirit Somaiya) but now we have a son-of-the-soil like me,” Dalvi said.

The constituency also has a smattering of star power in these polls. Former cricketer Vinod Kambli is also vying for the seat.

“The youth and women will favour me. I have been living here and I know the issues too well,” said Kambli, who has been fielded by the Lok Bharati Party.