Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: More Citizens Manifestos - What Mumbaikars Want?

Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: More Citizens Manifestos - What Mumbaikars Want?

The lack of demarcation places these areas at a disadvantage compared to slums which enjoy higher Floor Space Index (FSI) or construction rights on land, they said. The residents have also asked for a ban on implementation of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) schemes in the areas.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Sunday, May 05, 2024, 08:14 PM IST
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Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: More Citizens Manifestos - What Mumbaikars Want? | File

Mumbai: With Mumbai to vote on May 20 to elect its six Members of Parliament, citizens groups are responding to the promises made by candidates with their own manifestos.

The oldest residents of Mumbai – the inhabitants of gaothans, or former villages and fishing hamlets, have announced their manifesto. An old demand has been special provisions under the city’s Development Plan 2014-2034 for gaothans and koliwadas, similar to the other areas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region that have separate provisions for such localities.

The lack of demarcation places these areas at a disadvantage compared to slums which enjoy higher Floor Space Index (FSI) or construction rights on land, they said. The residents have also asked for a ban on implementation of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) schemes in the areas.

"Our demands have been consistently denied. We are worried that if our gaothans are not demarcated they will be declared as slums," said lawyer Godfrey Pimenta of the citizens group Watchdog Foundation which released the manifesto for the gaothans.

Another demand has been municipal water supply to gaothans like Gorai, Kulvem, and Manori. The manifesto has also demanded preservation of villages and gaothans like Matharpacady Khotachiwadi as heritage precincts with special funds. Survey of gaothans and koliwadas to give property rights to residents, recognition of farmers in the Manori-Gorai area to ensure that they get the benefits given by the state, and better sewerage facilities in the gaothans are other demands.

Missing road links, encroachments in mangrove forests and national park figure in the manifesto released by Mumbai March, a group that works on environment and civic issues in the western suburbs, has also released a manifesto for the North Mumbai constituency which comprises suburbs between Goregaon and Dahisar.

Demands in the manifesto, copies of which have been given to the BJP candidate Piyush Goyal and the Congress nominee Bhushan Patil, include rejuvenation of the Dahisar and Poisar Rivers that have degraded into sewage drains. Citizens have demanded restoration of natural flow of water by removing the concrete walls along the rivers.

Mumbai North includes one of the largest surviving stretches of mangrove forests and residents want protection of the green cover. Residents have also demanded the creation of a protected bird sanctuary at Tarzan Hill and Lake in Charkop which is home to birds and wild animals.

A section of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) lies in the constituency and residents have demanded the removal of encroachments in SGNP from Dahisar to Goregaon.

Animal bypass for safe crossing of animals on the on the Ahmedabad highway and Ghodbandar-Thane road for Leopard crossing towards Uttan and Tungareshwar area to stop animal deaths in road accident.

The group has listed suggestions to improve the infrastructure in the area, including a bus terminal for out-station buses at Dahisar and creation of roads planned under the DPs. The roads include the missing link between Andheri and Dahisar, passing through Kulupwadi, Magathane, Thakur Village, Lokhandwala Kandivali, and Film City.

“There are several roads that are marked in the DP but are missing on the ground. We had identified these roads during our walk in March,” said Avinash Thawani of the group.

Other demands include parking lots, BEST terminus in Borivali East, and connectivity between Borivali East and West, better footpaths, and action against illegal parking and hawkers on S V Road. The manifesto says that schemes like SRA that were introduced to make Mumbai slum-free are not working fast enough. Attention also has been drawn to slums on mangrove forests and SGNP.

Other citizens’ groups have also created similar manifestos. Last week, the Mumbai North Central District Forum, released its ‘citizens’ charter’, demanding among other things, better connectivity between the western and eastern suburbs, judicial reforms, and decriminalisation of marijuana for medical use.

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