The civic elections are upon us and the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance has launched a publicity campaign to showcase projects it claims it has managed to complete. But, a look at the 2007 manifesto shows most promises have not been kept, or some are moving at a snail’s pace.
The thrust of the promises was on improving civic infrastructure and upping the living standards of people in Mumbai. Even after being at the helm of Asia’s richest civic body that has an average annual budget of Rs 20,000 crore the Sena-Bjp combine hasn’t given the city anything long-term in the last five years.
The ambitious Middle Vaitarna dam that was supposed to be ready by 2012 has been delayed by a year. Roads are in miserable condition even after more than Rs 5,000 crore spent on their reconstruction and maintenance.
The campaign planned by the Sena has huge posters in several parts of the city proclaiming their development works. The party, which has been ruling the BMC for 15 years, desperately wants to retain power in the BMC and has already taken the lead in terms of campaigning. However, the party has failed to deliver on most of its assurances.
The Sena, however, tried to convey that it has kept most of its promises. “We have delivered 90% of what we promised in our manifesto,” Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee, said.
The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance had presented a joint manifesto in 2007, in which they had promised 24/7 water supply, concretisation of roads, garbage-free city, completion of Brimstowad works and turning Byculla zoo into an international style zoo. However, barring some work in the water supply and health sectors, the lives of Mumbaikars has hardly improved.
The 24/7 water supply still remains a distant dream for many as several parts of the city continue to face water shortage. Against the requirement of 4,200 million litres daily (mld), the city receives just 3,350 mld.
Sanitation and cleanliness in the city haven’t seen any improvement in the last five years. Upgradation of health services has started but is moving very slowly.
Rajhans Singh, opposition leader in the BMC, said, “The Sena-BJP have failed in the last five years in every aspect. They have lost control of the civic administration and could not get work done in time,” he said.