We spoke to the three contenders of the Lok Sabha constituency currently held by Congress MP Gurudas Kamat, who refused to even give a telephonic interview, saying he is busy with campaigning
Gajanan Kirtikar, Shiv Sena
The state of the traffic throughout the city is pathetic. It becomes difficult many a time to travel with so many cars on the roads, and to curb this menace public transport should be given more importance. Monorail and Metro lines should be planned and implemented swiftly and not just be kept on paper.
If I’m elected MP, I will ask the authorities to pull the unauthorised structures down, in case there are complaints. When I was an MLA from 1990 to 2009, we worked for an encroachment-free area and even in future, I will take care of this problem. But, at the same time the BMC should take suo moto action against all irregularities and encroachments, irrespective of any political involvement.
With new plans drawn up by the BMC, they again should not only remain on paper. There is a need to implement it. Work that is done should be monitored. If I am in power, I will surely keep my party members and corporators informed about how the quality of roads is going to be important for a smooth ride in the city. It will be our responsibility to give citizens better roads.
The redevelopment process in this constituency is already going on at various places, and the delay in giving homes by the builder to the residents has become an old practice. MHADA should initiate action against this and take responsibility. I will surely ask MHADA to check on work done by developers, and get the citizens their houses back soon.
The water supply in our city depends on the rainfall that we get. A few years ago, there were water cuts and shortages due to less rainfall. I will ask the planning authority to ensure that we have a system in place so that we are not dependent on rainfall alone. I will get water tunnels constructed, so that there is better supply of water for citizens.
Mahesh Manjrekar, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena
I will push for the Andheri to Dahisar check naka Metro line, which can surely decongest traffic to an extent in the suburbs, as the highways are completely packed during peak hours. Also, plans to widen roads near the railway stations will be on my agenda, as thousands take this route daily.
Encroachment happens in two parts — the first is on forest land near Aarey colony and surrounding areas. In this case, I will ask the Forest department to construct walls and work hard to ensure the forest is saved from encroachers. The second kind is seen on wetlands and mangroves, which has to be stopped. I will work for this purpose to save the environment.
There is a necessity of having more and more footpaths, so that pedestrians’ rights are saved and there will be only vehicles plying on the roads. I will personally keep a watch on the functioning of the BMC and the way they maintain roads. There should be a law for improper maintenance and shoddy roads, and the contractors, the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats should be held responsible and punished.
There are certain rules enacted by the central government agencies under the name of environment, without knowing basic infrastructure of Mumbai. I will try to bring to the notice of lawmakers that those rules should be supportive to the basic cause of development of Mumbai. There should be proper redevelopment laws, so that no one goes against it and causes the residents and the homebuyers, problems.
With the current scenario of water in rural areas, we should be thankful that we at least get water. But, the government should look for alternate sources of water; saving water is also important. Leaking pipelines should be changed on priority, so that enough water is provided to the citizens.
Mayank Gandhi, Aam Aadmi Party
In a city with a population of 1.5 crore and more, we still don’t have a proper mode of transport. We are yet to start the first Metro line. To solve traffic problems, we need to have the Metros and the Monorails to be planned on priority basis and also the BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit System), which should be planned now in the city to reduce traffic hassles to some extent.
Slums have come up because of the nexus between bureaucrats, politicians and police officers. Various people coming from rural areas have nowhere to go, and they buy the places sold by this nexus. Instead of punishing the victims, the perpetrators should be punished and if that happens, there would be no slums and everything would go as per the development plan.
The quality of roads should be taken very seriously. If I come in power, I have plans to have an audit done by citizens, in which first the engineer would monitor the quality of the road made. Once he approves the quality, citizen groups, too, will have to give the go-ahead to the road. Only then would the payment be made to contractors.
Firstly, there is no need for a private builder to be involved in developing slums. There are enough funds available with MHADA and the BMC to get slums redeveloped and provide houses to the needy. While in the case of old dilapidated buildings, I will encourage cluster development. There should also be a regulatory authority, which will assure that there is no delay and cheating taking place with residents and homebuyers.
In our city, the pipelines are almost 100 years old. There is a need of immediate replacement and augmentation of these pipelines. It is very bad that sewage and water supply lines are placed so close to each other and there are heavy chances that the two can mix. In such cases, water should be supplied with care and change is very important.