Handling the country’s richest civic body, BMC, is not easy. So here’s a list of issues the new civic chief, Ajoy Mehta, may have to tackle on priority – fixing the flawed development plan by looking into the objections raised by experts and citizens, a policy to tackle waterlogging and bad roads in the monsoon, policy for hawkers and open spaces, along with starting work on the coastal road.
With an annual budget of more than Rs 33,000 crore, running the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is not much different from handling a small state. The agency is not just responsible for civic amenities, but also for providing health care, primary education, building and maintaining infrastructure, city transport buses and supplying electricity to parts of the city.
Of all problems and responsibilities, the most tricky is rectifying the draft DP, which had so many errors that the chief minister had to intervene, promising corrections in four months. Next in line is monsoon preparedness, as every year the city gets flooded, with citizens battling potholed roads and waterlogging.
Another challenge for Mehta will be the marking of new hawkers’ zones, which citizens are opposed to. The coastal road project, too, is facing issues ranging from environment clearance to the opposition from the local fishermen. Also, even a few years after it was stalled, the BMC is yet to frame a policy for recreational and playgrounds.
Aware of the challenges, a seasoned Mehta chose not to speak much after taking charge. “My thrust will be on providing better services,” he said.