Back from a weeklong trip to Singapore, the elected representatives of the civic body are brimming with big project ideas for the city. However, if the records of their predecessors are anything to go by, most projects remain only on paper.
Mumbai mayor Sunil Prabhu along with the group leaders of different parties and the chairmen of the standing and improvement committee visited Singapore last week for the ‘World City Summit.’ Fresh from the trip, Prabhu said that he will meet civic commissioner Sitaram Kunte to discuss project ideas such as generation of energy from waste and water sewerage treatment plant among others.Prabhu claimed that all the leaders spent their own money and not government’s money.
“On an average, Mumbai generates 6,500 metric tonnes of garbage daily. Producing energy from waste will mean tremendous growth for the city. We haven’t discussed the issue with any private company in Singapore,” said Prabhu. He also plans to introduce ‘Laser Show’ in Powai Lake.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Dhananjay Pisal claimed that the sewerage treatment plant would work wonders for the city. “The same sewage water can be used for non-drinking needs of the city,” he said.
For Samajwadi Party leader Rais Sheikh, the technology to desalinate water was the highlight of the trip. “With the technology, the cost of desalination could be lowered from Rs35 for 1,000 litres to Rs11 for 1,000 litres,” he said.
However, the history of the foreign trips of leaders tells another story. None of the ideas envisioned by the previous leaders from their foreign visits have been implemented.
After his London visit, former standing committee chairman Ravindra Waikar wanted to build Mumbai Eye on the lines of the London Eye. He also wanted to build a wax museum on the lines of Madame Tussauds. Both the projects are yet to materialise. During her visit to New York, former mayor Shubha Raul had learned how to convert dumping grounds into green zone.
Her successor Shraddha Jadhav had visited Singapore and then wanted to build a zoo in Mumbai at par with that in Singapore. But, none of these projects ever took off.
“It was a weeklong holiday. There are several companies who have already given similar proposals to the BMC, but those have been rejected,” said Dilip Lande, group leader of MNS, who did not go with the delegation.