Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Citizen Groups Drive Election Discourse With Comprehensive Manifestos

Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Citizen Groups Drive Election Discourse With Comprehensive Manifestos

In the midst of chaotic political developments and party-hopping by leaders, these grassroots organizations are taking matters into their own hands by articulating the pressing needs and concerns of their communities through meticulously crafted manifestos.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Wednesday, May 01, 2024, 06:46 PM IST
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Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Citizen Groups Drive Election Discourse With Comprehensive Manifestos |

Mumbai: As Mumbai gears up for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections slated for May 20, citizen groups across the city are making significant strides in shaping the electoral narrative. In the midst of chaotic political developments and party-hopping by leaders, these grassroots organizations are taking matters into their own hands by articulating the pressing needs and concerns of their communities through meticulously crafted manifestos.

Chandivali Citizens Lead the Charge with 'Chandivlicha Manifesto' - Mumbai North-Central constituency

In the midst of political parties unveiling their manifestos, a community group from Chandivli has taken the initiative to craft its own manifesto for presentation to the candidates vying for the Mumbai North-Central constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Dubbed the ‘Chandivlicha Manifesto’, this document sheds light on a myriad of pressing issues crucial to their locality, often overlooked by mainstream party manifestos. These concerns range from air pollution stemming from ready-mix concrete plants to widespread encroachments on footpaths and rampant open garbage dumping. The Mumbai North-Central constituency encompasses six assembly seats, including Bandra east and west, Kalina, Vile Parle, Kurla, and Chandivli. While Congress has nominated Varsha Gaikwad, also the incumbent Dharavi MLA, as its candidate for Mumbai North-Central, the BJP has opted for a change, replacing its two-time MP Poonam Mahajan with Ujjwal Nikam, renowned for his role as the public prosecutor in the trial of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab for his involvement in the 26/11 attacks and other terror cases.

Mandeep Singh Makkar, founder of Chandivli Citizens Welfare Association, said, "We recognize that MPs have larger constituencies, but when it comes to election time, they mobilize their candidates and have a robust network that reaches every household to ask for votes. However, once elected, we seldom see political parties actively serving the same people who voted for them. Despite the civic nature of the problems we face, whether it's the MLA, MP, or corporator, if the locality is inundated with their hoardings and lacks cleanliness, they have the authority to issue orders. The encroachment on footpaths often stems from their own party workers, and they cannot absolve themselves of this responsibility."

Furthermore he added, " We lack essential infrastructure like a fire station, which is critical for a locality with high-rise buildings. We expect our MP to at least meet with us once a year, and someone from their team should be accessible to listen to our concerns. People are becoming increasingly frustrated; if we delay our payments, penalties are swiftly imposed on us, but why isn't the government penalized for failing to fulfill its promises?"

Govandi Citizens Rally for Development and Unity - Mumbai North East constituency

The manifesto shared by the Govandi Citizens Welfare Association outlines a series of crucial initiatives aimed at addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by the residents of the Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar Constituency. Central to this manifesto is the urgent call for the cessation of the proposed Waste to Energy plant project in the Deonar Dumping Ground area, alongside the imperative closure of the Deonar Dumping Ground itself. Additionally, it advocates for the establishment of a Women Degree College within the constituency and emphasizes the prompt relocation of the Biomedical Waste Incinerator from Deonar. The manifesto further underscores the importance of legalizing and regularizing residential houses in slums, augmenting health infrastructure, and ensuring accessibility to banking facilities through the installation of a multitude of Centralized Government Bank/ATM units in slum belt areas. In alignment with principles of inclusivity and social justice, the manifesto staunchly opposes the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019. It further proposes the development of various community amenities such as marketplaces, shopping malls, jogging tracks, gymnasiums, and centralized libraries. Concluding with the proposal to convert the Shivaji Nagar APJ Abdul Kalam Nursing Home into a Secondary Stage Hospital.

Member of Govandi Citizens Welfare Association Sheikh Fayaz Alam said, "The purpose of our manifesto is to urge political parties vying for power to prioritize addressing the economic challenges, unemployment, and social justice issues faced by the people. It is imperative that all political parties uphold constitutional ideals and values such as inclusion, pluralism, federalism, rule of law, and equal respect and opportunities without any discrimination based on religions, cultures, or languages."

Raheja Estate Association and Mumbai March Advocate for Environmental Preservation - Mumbai North Constituency

The Raheja Estate Association and Mumbai March, representing the collective voice of citizens, presented their manifesto to Piyush Goyal, BJP candidate for Mumbai North constituency. Their manifesto addresses pressing concerns related to environment, infrastructure, and slum rehabilitation. It advocates for a revamped slum redevelopment scheme, citing the need to accelerate progress and minimize bureaucratic hurdles. Additionally, it highlights ecological preservation efforts, such as safeguarding Turzon Hill and the Dindoshi Hill in Goregaon, emphasizing the importance of protecting natural habitats.

Gopal Jhaveri, Founder of Mumbai March said, "In addressing neglected slum rehabilitation schemes, we propose a model inspired by Singapore's public housing system. Our aim is to reduce the saleable component of slum redevelopment until Mumbai achieves slum-free status, urging comprehensive government intervention. Leveraging funds from various sources, including BMC's fixed deposits and central government schemes, we advocate for the development of 4,000 buildings with 20 lakh flats across 1400 clusters. The slow progress of the prevailing SRA scheme is concerning, with Mumbai potentially taking 230 years to become slum-free at this rate. With our team of 40 core members and over 1,000 volunteers, we draw inspiration from successful models and reports. We address the plight of Adivasi communities in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, emphasizing the importance of relocating them to organized housing through collaboration with the forest department. Preserving ecologically significant sites like Turzon Hill and the lake in Charkop is crucial, and we demand their designation as a Mumbai Bird Sanctuary. Encroachment on Dindoshi Hill in Goregaon, designated as a No Development Zone, must be addressed to mitigate future flood risks."

"The city has grappled with critical missing links in its development plans over the past five decades. He highlighted the absence of vital infrastructure connecting Andheri to Dahisar, which includes areas like Kulupwadi, Devipada, Magathane, Siddharth Nagar, Thakur Village, Lokhandwala Kandivali, and Dindoshi Film City." The daily traffic congestion in Mumbai North, urging for the bridging of these gaps to improve connectivity and traffic management. Additionally, he proposed measures such as an animal bypass near Ghodbunder to protect leopards and the establishment of an out-station bus terminal at Dahisar check Naka, utilizing available octroi land.

Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen's Association Presents Vision - Mumbai North West Constituency

The Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen's Association has released an exhaustive manifesto outlining critical priorities for the Mumbai North West constituency. At the forefront is the demand for the timely completion of various infrastructure projects, including the Gokhale bridge, Thackeray flyover extension, and the construction of the Mrinal Tai flyover extension. The manifesto also addresses the urgent need for the Yari Rd-SVP Nagar bridge and the Versova-Madh bridge, alongside the pending DP bridge over the Oshiwara river.

Furthermore, the association emphasizes the necessity of establishing the Mogra Nullah Pumping station and barricading the transit dump yard, with a gradual phase-out planned over the next two years. They also stress the importance of utility conduit pipe installation and water pipeline replacement during road construction. Additionally, the manifesto highlights the efficient utilization of MPLAD funds, the establishment of a fire station at Chitrakoot ground, and the development of a waterway transport corridor. Moreover, it calls for increased funding for rainwater harvesting, solar panel adoption, and enhancements to railway and bus services, including more air-conditioned trains and increased bogie capacity for Line 1. With a focus on accountability and citizen engagement, the association proposes post-election quarterly meetings in the local area to ensure ongoing dialogue between elected representatives and constituents. This comprehensive manifesto encapsulates the collective aspirations and concerns of residents, advocating for tangible solutions to enhance infrastructure, services, and the overall quality of life in the constituency.

Karan Jotwani, Co-Founder of the Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen's Association, emphasized the need for the MP to prioritize the fulfillment of the association's manifesto demands. He said, "The Mumbai North West constituency represents a high-income group that contributes significantly to the central government's tax revenue, yet it receives zero returns in terms of tax benefits and essential services. We want an elected Member of Parliament (MP) to spearhead transformative change in the constituency, addressing its long-standing lack of basic necessities, and also fulfill our manifesto demands."

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