This year, commit to a better Mumbai

As cities evolve, so should their aspirations. On January 1, 2015, this newspaper submitted to its readers its annual wishlist for Mumbai. For the last 35 years, mid-day has been relentlessly pursuing its dream for a better Mumbai. In the last three years, we formalised that process by announcing a wishlist on the first day of the year, and then following up on those issues through the year.

This year, too, we had a list of demands, if you will, made on behalf of Mumbaikars. We want, in no particular order, safety of our schoolchildren, better east-west connectivity, more beautiful beaches, efficient water transport for inter-zonal connectivity, an integrated smart card system for seamless public transport usage, strengthening of our natural havens such as the aquarium, the national park and the zoo, making our club cricket so that Mumbai regains national glory, saving of our playgrounds and finally, a strong revival of our film studios that are such an integral part of our history.

Can we rely on our municipal, state and Central authorities to achieve this? Certainly not. Given the bureaucratic lethargy, it would be well nigh impossible. Which is why, we urge our readers to stand up and demand a better city. We cannot be passive observers of apathy and indifference.

Over the years, experiments such as Advanced Locality Management have proved that citizen power does work. Therefore, these demands, perfectly valid for a wannabe global city such as ours, should not be a problem. What is needed is consistent follow-up from us, and that requires stamina and energy. Mumbai has no dearth of that.

As a newspaper that stands up for the city, mid-day will not flinch from all the support it can give to anyone who will fight for Mumbai’s well-being.

There is no city in the world that is not a “work-in-progress”. Mumbai is is no exception. One of the great characteristics of this city is that it makes everyone its own, including “outsiders”. Which is why, achieving these goals should not be tough. Just that we all need to commit.

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