At its Mumbai First Conclave, the Hindustan Times on Tuesday presented a 10-point charter of demands on behalf of the citizens of Mumbai to the Maharashtra government.
The charter was accepted by Jayant Patil, guardian minister (island city), and Suresh Shetty, health and environment minister, on behalf of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
The charter of demands was formulated on the basis of a first-of-its-kind survey of 10,000 Mumbaiites to understand what they want from their city.
The purpose of the conclave, organised at a central Mumbai hotel, was to bring on one platform the findings of the survey as well as to bring together a cross-section of leaders to brainstorm on what should be done to meet Mumbaiites’ demands.
The day-long summit was divided into three sessions: Business, governance and entertainment. The opening session saw Maharashtra’s Finance Minister Sunil Tatkare admitting that it is not easy to create infrastructure in the city.
Other panel members in the business section such as Abhisheck Lodha, MD of Lodha Developers, and Ravi Naraian, MD and CEO of the National Stock Exchange, were more optimistic, offering plans for bettering the city’s business environment and improving people’s quality of life, so that Mumbai could remain India’s business and financial capital.
During the session on governance, former CM and Shiv Sena Member of Parliament, Manohar Joshi, said: “The problems of Mumbai are man-made. They are not an act of God. Therefore, they can be solved.”
Guardian minister and NCP leader Patil agreed with Joshi that political parties should come together, clean up their act and set an example of “good governance” for Mumbai’s citizens.
The conclave concluded with filmmakers Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee and actor Vidya Balan deliberating on the importance of the budget in Bollywood today. Most agreed that small-budget films could become commercial successes, albeit on a different scale.