With another year making way for the next, here is mid-day’s annual wish list for the next 365 days to make Mumbai and the lives of the ordinary Mumbaikar better
Keep our kids safe
The year gone by saw an unprecedented number of sexual attacks on children, especially in schools. The least that the schools, police, government and we, as a society, can do is to give our little ones a safe environment. We hope we can do that this year.
East meets west
While the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road has proved to be a blessing, much more is needed to address the issue of east-west connectivity. We hope the Wadala-Jacob Circle phase of the monorail meets its year-end deadline and Metro projects are expedited to address this major lacuna in the city’s infrastructure.
Better beaches, please?
Despite having the sea on either side, our coastline remains untapped and neglected. We desperately need safer, cleaner beachfronts manned by trained lifeguards, where people can enjoy the sea without its filth. The sea-facing promenades should also be transformed into vibrant stretches of al fresco restaurants, clubs, nightspots, and cultural spaces.
Ride the waves
In limbo despite getting green clearances, the water transport projects — connecting Ferry Wharf and Nerul on the east coast, and Nariman Point and Borivli on the west coast — may move forward this year. We fervently hope that happens, so that Mumbaikars can smell the sea, instead of each other’s armpits.
Integrated smart card
With the Metro and Monorail coming up as good alternatives to local trains and BEST buses, we would really like to have an integrated smart card to connect all these forms of transport this year to avoid spending eons in queues (and then being made to run around for change).
Our zoo needs better upkeep, upgraded technology and qualified staff to ensure it evolves into a state-of-the-art space for people to take in all that nature has to offer. The Taraporevala Aquarium and Sanjay Gandhi National Park also need a revamp to come even remotely close to being considered world-class facilities.
The Ranji loss to Jammu & Kashmir this year should serve as a wake-up call for those resting on the laurels of the Mumbai team’s 40 Ranji Trophy titles. The city no longer produces as many great cricketers as it used to, and we need to strengthen club cricket to regain that lost glory.
Save our playgrounds
Far too often, playgrounds meant to provide enjoyment to kids are occupied for political purposes. This not only causes damage to the grounds but also makes tournament schedules go for a toss. We hope the city can reclaim its playgrounds this year.
Brighten up our Studios
While business is booming in Bollywood, the studios in the city that have got the industry where it is are vanishing at an alarming rate, taking their wealth of nostalgia with them. Except for a few, like Mehboob and some in Film City, most old studios are victims of neglect and apathy. We wish that the government, or the industry itself, takes measures to preserve them.