Outside the hall, it was heavy rain. Inside, it was nearly stormy.
On a rainy Sunday, several Chembur residents turned up to meet candidates contesting from their constituency. The session was organised by AGNI’S Joint Area Action Group (JAAG) of the M ward’s Chembur constituency.
Sitting Member of Legislative Assembly Chandrakant Handore and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Anil Thakur replied to residents’ questions.
“Irrespective of winning or losing, all party leaders must keep residents informed about government p policies,” said the ward’s AGNI coordinator, Rajkumar Sharma (59). “If the projects are for our benefit, at least find out if we approve of them.”
Chembur has quite a few unfinished infrastructure projects, which residents say are causing untold hardship.
Work on the Suman Nagar flyover is on for the last three years. It was slated for completion in 18 months.
“We had told authorities the flyover wouldn’t work. But they went ahead,” said Sharma.
The marshy land where the flyover was to come up could not sustain the structure. “They tried to bolster it but it sank.”
Another such project causing inconvenience to locals is the Santacruz-Chembur link road that is four years behind schedule.
It cost is pegged at an approximate Rs 35 crore. “The only way to finish this unfinished business is electing me. Since I have initiated all these projects, only I know the intricacies involved and can complete these projects,” sitting MLA Chandrakant Handore told the audience.
“I am not in power, but I have done a lot for the area. Vote me and I will do all I can,” said BJP’s Anil Thakur.
The locals also voiced discontent about Chembur being treated as a dumping ground with a bio medical waste plant in Deonar. “It’s polluting the area,” said a local, Sanjay Konkane (45).
Independent candidate Preeti Govil, a post-graduate, said: “I do not have money or muscle power, but I do have the willpower to solve residents’ problems.”
“I’ve been hearing these things every five years for the last years,” said H.K. Clubwala (76). “It’s an eyewash.”