In Mumbai North, Piyush Goyal handed over a citizen’s manifesto | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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In Mumbai North, Piyush Goyal handed over a citizen’s manifesto

By, Mumbai:
Apr 06, 2024 10:01 AM IST

With 17.75 lakh voters, Mumbai North is the largest of the six Lok Sabha constituencies in the city

The Raheja Estate Association and Mumbai March, a people’s collective, on Friday delivered their citizens’ manifesto to Piyush Goyal, minister of commerce and industry and BJP candidate for the Mumbai North constituency comprising Dahisar, Magathane, Borivali, Kandivali, Malad and Goregaon.

Raheja estate Association and Mumbai March organized an event with Piyush Goyal to discuss issues on Mumbai infrastructure environment and slum at Borivali on Friday. (Satish Bate/HT)
Raheja estate Association and Mumbai March organized an event with Piyush Goyal to discuss issues on Mumbai infrastructure environment and slum at Borivali on Friday. (Satish Bate/HT)

The manifesto highlights concerns regarding environment, infrastructure, and slum rehabilitation. With 17.75 lakh voters, Mumbai North is the largest of the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai.

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Gopal Jhaveri from Mumbai March emphasised the pressing issue of neglected slum rehabilitation schemes (SRA), advocating for a model akin to Singapore’s public housing system. He proposed minimizing the saleable component in slum redevelopment until Mumbai becomes slum free.

Jhaveri urged the government to take full responsibility for slum improvement, leveraging available funds from various sources including BMC’s fixed deposits, Mhada, central government, and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna. He said state agencies, Mhada or MMRDA should develop 4,000 buildings with 20 lakh flats across 1400 clusters, drawing inspiration from successful models like Singapore.

Jhaveri said that under the prevailing SRA scheme only two houses have been constructed in the past 30 years. At this pace, Mumbai will take 230 years to be slum-free.

Comprising 40 core members and more than 1,000 volunteers, Mumbai March team has been working on this aspect for the last five years using the Singapore Model and the UN Habitat Report as reference.

Adivasi rehabilitation in Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) has also found place in the manifesto. Jhaveri noted that despite residing on 20 acres of land within the park without access to basic amenities like water and electricity, the adivasis are considered trespassers by the high court, though the Supreme Court has issued a stay on their eviction. Additionally, on 320 acres of land, there are conflicts between humans and animals, exacerbated by issues such as plastic pollution, alcohol consumption, noise, and vehicle emissions.

Jhaveri proposed collaborating with the forest department to relocate them to 50 acres of land for better organized housing.

Mumbai March has underscored the importance of safeguarding an ecologically significant and stressed site to preserve Turzon Hill and lake in Charkop. “This place has seen an increase in encroachment post-Covid. This area serves as a habitat for migrating birds, housing numerous reptiles and even the Golden Jackal,” he said, demanding that the area should be declared a Mumbai Bird Sanctuary.

Dindoshi Hill in Goregaon serves as the origin of the Oshiwara/Valbhat Rivers, but it’s currently facing encroachment by builders, said Jhaveri. The area is designated as a No Development Zone (NDZ) in the BMC Development Plan of 2014-34 and hosts a population of leopards. “Preserving the integrity of this hill is crucial, as any alteration to its landscape could pose a significant flood risk in the future,” he added.

Avinash Thawani, a Borivali resident and part of Mumbai March, stated that for the past five decades, the city has suffered from critical missing links in its development plans, spanning 1967, 1991, to the latest 2014-34 blueprint.

One glaring gap in the infrastructure network is the absence of a vital link from Andheri to Dahisar, encompassing areas such as Kulupwadi, Devipada, Magathane, Siddharth Nagar, Thakur Village, Lokhandwala Kandivali, and Dindoshi Film City.

“Traffic condition in Mumbai North is a huge mess for citizens on a daily basis. Hope we connect the missing links for better connectivity and traffic solutions,” added Thawani.

An animal bypass is proposed by Mumbai North residents on the Ahmedabad and Thane Road near Ghodbunder to ensure safe passage for leopards towards the Uttan and Tungreshwar area, thus mitigating the risk of animal accidents on highways. They also demand an out-station bus terminal at Dahisar check Naka on available octroi land.

The haphazard parking of buses and the congregation of passengers at various pick-up/drop-off points along Borivali, Malad, Goregaon highway, and SV road are contributing to traffic congestion issues. “Furthermore, the unauthorized parking of buses in mangrove areas is not only promoting encroachment but also endangering the mangrove ecosystem and the surrounding forests,” stated Jhaveri.

At the meeting, Piyush Goyal slamed the Thackerays. “We want to make Mumbai North slum free, which will become a model for other constituencies.It is a different matter that Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya Thackeray tried to politicise the issue of slums from Mumbai North and had alleged the BJP was trying to remove slums and relocate those living in them to faraway salt pan lands.

Aaditya ji has no concrete plan or project to speak about.In their 2.5 years stint Metro didn’t even take off.Have we heard of even one project being successful during the MVA’s tenure? They used to get scared to even get out during the pandemic but we worked even during the lockdown from our office,” said the union minister.

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