FPJ Special: ‘Re-imagining Mumbai’ to find solutions for cleaner, less congested city

With the passing of time, concerns around congestion and waste management for the financial city continues to grow. Despite various infrastructure projects—some that have been completed and some in inception— there is ​little relief. There is lot more that needs to be addressed which will be discussed at the upcoming discussion titled ‘Re-imagining Mumbai – cleaner and less congested’ which will be held in IMC Chambers, Churchgate on August 22, 2017.

To discuss the topic which is dearer to Mumbaikars, FPJ-IMC Forum with digital partner Firstpost.com managed to ​bring together some of the best names –Ajoy Mehta, municipal commisssioner, MCGM, Ajit Ranade, chief economist, Aditya Birla Group of Companies, Niranjan Hiranandani, founder and head of the Hiranandani group of companies, and Shishir Joshi – CEO, Mumbai First. The panel will be moderated by R N Bhaskar, consulting editor, FPJ.

On the waste management front, the municipal commissioner has often said that in the past municipalities talked about waste disposal. Today they talk about waste management. Whether, the solution is converting waste to energy, or incinerating it, the people who will win contracts are those who can manage waste. Also, the government is not interested in buying technologies, or promoting a company. The one who can find the best solution, at the most reasonable cost will become a preferred partner. The emphasis is to do away entirely with landfills — the way Sweden has done ( http://www.freepressjournal.in/editorspick/can-mumbai-manage-waste-the-swedish-way-r-n-bhaskar/800198 ).

​Another issue that will be discussed will be the ways in which Mumbai can be decongested (http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/rn-bhaskar-how-to-plan-for-paid-parking-and-paid-hawking/1051060). FPJ has often advocated a solution where there should be multi-level structures having parking, vendors, restaurants, toilets, and special parking for public utilities (municipal vehicles, government vehicles, police, fire vehicles and taxis) on the ground level. If restaurants and vendors are in the same complex, people can park their cars, do their shopping, have their meals, get into the cars and drive off again. But ​a ​few weeks ​ago, the municipal corporation unveiled plans to open 330 parking lots across the city (in addition to the 92 pay-and-park sites that already exist). These are lots where parking was meant to be free. But local touts collect charges from car owners, who pay up if they have to ensure that their cars are not damaged. Despite such parking facilities, there is lot more that needs to be done on security side with CCTV cameras and so on. Also, most important all payments must be done electronically, ensuring a transaction trail, and to aid easy accounting.

The introduction of metros, freeways, and other roads will also help decongest the city.

The panelists will possibly have other ideas to share at the discussion coming Tuesday at 5 pm. And that is why this discussion becomes imperative –to make this bustling city a more liveable place.

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