Lok Sabha elections 2019: Make space or we press NOTA, say Mumbaiites(HT File)
Lok Sabha elections 2019: Make space or we press NOTA, say Mumbaiites(HT File)

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Make space or we press NOTA, say Mumbaiites

Both the areas, Chembur and Parel, had access to open spaces in their vicinity that were closed down by the authorities. The residents of these areas have put up banners of voting for NOTA owing to lack of open spaces.
By Sagar Pillai | Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 01, 2019 08:18 AM IST

While politicians are promising subsidies and financial security to the poor, Mumbaiites are demanding open spaces. With Lok Sabha elections around the corner, people in different areas of the city have threatened to press None of the Above (NOTA) if they do not get access to open spaces.

Both the areas, Chembur and Parel, had access to open spaces in their vicinity that were closed down by the authorities. The residents of these areas have put up banners of voting for NOTA owing to lack of open spaces.

A playground that used to be accessed by residents of Wadavli village in Chembur belongs to the Rashtriya Chemical Factory (RCF) Ltd colony. The residents of the village have alleged that 90% of the village’s land was transferred to construct the RCF colony decades ago. Mangesh Pawar, resident of the Wadavli village, said, “It was mutually agreed that the ground will be given to the villagers. However, the RCF authorities blocked our access to the ground. Despite several assurances by political parties, the ground is still not open to the public. We have decided not to vote for any party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections”

Meanwhile, a group of Dadar residents, have raised a similar demand for a playground, Dr NA Purandare Stadium, where the BMC has planned to construct a gymkhana for KEM Hospital doctors. The Purandare Bachao Samiti has urged residents to exercise the NOTA option, while voting in the upcoming Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections. The residents’ group on Friday issued a public notice via pamphlets, targeting those living in Parel, Naigaon, Dadar, Bhoiwada and Sewri.

Activists have said that Mumbai is not even close to the national standards for open spaces per capita. Godfrey Pimenta, Founder of Watchdog Foundation, said, “The city does not have any open spaces left and authorities are least bothered about it. Compared to Mumbai, open spaces in other cities are way better. Residents of Mahakali in Andheri have raised a similar complaint of lack of open spaces in their area. This is an issue that concerns every Mumbaiite.”

Meanwhile, addressing a video-conferencing event, Main Bhi Chowkidar, across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Balakot is being reconstructed by Pakistan to show that a school is being run there, so that people can be taken there and shown that no terror camp existed. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP MP Poonam Mahajan were present at the event.

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