The civic polls are drawing near and politicians will soon start wooing Mumbaiites with promises of a world-class city and better quality of life. But how seriously can you take them?
If what the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance, which rules the civic body, has done in the past five years is unimpressive, the Congress-NCP alliance, which runs the state government, has done no better.
Eight years after the Congress-NCP alliance announced the Mumbai makeover project, pegged at Rs 43,000 crore, the plan is floundering, with several transport and infrastructure projects delayed and/or scrapped.
Poor planning, lack of political will and accountability have come in the way of the makeover, HT has found in its audit of the makeover project.
“All we have got is grandiose plans and announcements,” said transport expert Ashok Datar. “Other than skywalks, which ate up Rs 700 crore, and the Bandra-Worli sea link, whose traffic projections are wrong so we pay more toll, we’ve got nothing.”
Mumbaiites are unhappy. In a survey published in HT’s November 23 edition, 68% respondents said the state is not doing enough for Mumbai.
The makeover plan has lost its credibility. While projects such as water transport and a sea link connecting the island city to the mainland have not taken off, the state has found rental housing and monorail projects unviable.
“The makeover is marred as there is zero accountability,” said Narinder Nayar, chairman of Bombay First, a private sector initiative that came up with the plan.