After retaining its hold over the Mumbai civic body for the next five years, the Shiv Sena has already started work for achieving its next target — the 2014 state elections.
A day into its victory over the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Saturday, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with his senior colleagues and asked them to come up with an overall vision for the next five years.
Fulfilling the more than 100 promises made in the 20-page Sena-BJP-RPI alliance manifesto will be a top priority for the party, Thackeray said, adding that the leaders should also think of ways in which Mumbai could get more tourist-friendly and the BMC more citizen-friendly.
“There is certainly a blueprint in the pipeline. The overall theme is upgradation of the city, with a thrust on pressing issues such as roads, health and education. The party manifesto will automatically become the path ahead for the party,” said Sena spokesperson Shweta Parulekar.
Sharing details of the meeting, city legislator Ravindra Waikar said Uddhav has stressed on making Mumbai more tourist-friendly and attractive by concentrating on world-class roads, creating tourist attractions and entertainment facilities.
“We were told to think of all that the party should be doing. Accordingly, we will make provisions in the budget and for the next four years too. While improving roads, health facilities, civic education and water supply capacity will be the focus, he told us we need to look at the big picture too,” said Waikar.
The new projects planned is likely to increase the BMC’s annual budget for the next financial year to Rs 23,000 crore, about Rs 3,000 crore more than last year’s.
However, apart from e-tendering and introducing a better financial e-system, a close look at the manifesto shows that it makes no promises about taking stringent measures to deal with corruption in allotting contracts for roads works and cleaning of nullahs. There is also no mention of keeping track of ward-level spending.
Vinod Tawde, senior BJP leader and Opposition leader in the Legislative Council, said there must be great emphasis on financial transparency. “We are looking at these issues minutely. We are looking at two things: One is reducing the administrative costs so that more money can be allotted for city development. The other will be to have renowned companies do civic works instead of civic contractors.”