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Mumbai

Updated on: Saturday, June 01, 2019, 08:46 AM IST

Rain of pre-poll sops

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Adivashi has been pointing out the delays in redevelopment of just 40-year-old dilapidated buildings in Navi Mumbai and the plight of families living under constant fear of their homes crashing.

This column has also analysed and said how NCP’s Sanjeev Naik received a drubbing in the Lok Sabha poll not only due to the Modi wave but a sense of frustration among the voters due to non-fulfillment of promises made. True to an aerated drink advertisement – Dar Kay Aagay Jeet – the people can now heave a sigh of relief as the State government finally cleared the proposal for give 2.5 FSI for rebuilding. CIDCO has earlier proposed an FSI of 3 which many opposed saying it will not only be unviable but can lead to court battles and further delays in redevelopment.

In what can be seen as pre-Assembly election sops, the Chief Minister has also cleared slum rehabilitation under SRA for Navi Mumbai.

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What is more, even the need-based constructions and extensions done by project affected people (PAP) will be regularised, the CM said after inaugurating the CIDCO exhibition complex at Vashi last week. It was the confusion over cluster development and need-based construction that played havoc among the PAP families which voted en masse against NCP in the Lok Sabha poll.

NCP cadre now obviously has a reason to cheer since Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik will have less trouble in retaining the Belapur assembly seat, unless of course if another saffron wave sweeps across the State. Naik himself is confident that the Modi wave will not work during the Assembly polls and “my work will speak for itself”. NCP has already launched an aggressive campaign with hoardings and radio jingles.

While development remains the buzzword in the City, CIDCO has planned to build 10,000 affordable homes on an SEZ land taken back from Videocon. The state government has cancelled the plot allotment after the LCD semi-conductor project planned by the company in a JV with CIDCO failed to take off.

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CIDCO has finally answered the prayers for an Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT) – another issue that has been repeatedly raised by Adivashi. The planning authority has decided to build an ISBT at Khandeshwar on a five-hectare plot. The terminal which can take up to 300 buses is estimated to cost Rs 200 crore and envisaged to be a BOT project under PPP.

The city has witnessed a trouble-free Ganesh festival with the police and NMMC making laudable arrangements. Traffic movement was smooth thanks to diversions to allow smooth flow of Ganesh idol processions. Its civic sense was, however, at its worst as the power Discom found as many as 252 cases of electricity pilferage. The authorities have launched a drive to recover dues from consumers who allowed illegal connections to these pandals.

The garbage left behind after the processions – plastic water bottles, paper plates and flowers – also shows the general careless attitude of the revelers. Isn’t it high time that the devotees themselves pick up the garbage and put it in bins? NMMC and CIDCO will do well if they keep additional bins for garbage disposal at key junctions and educate the people.

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NMMC, CIDCO and the elected representatives must now start for looking for alternative sites for putting up the Ganesh Pandals instead of blocking roads and parking places. There is nothing sacrosanct about some of the current locations as the places are hardly clean and pious. People should realize that roads and parking places – where people spit and pee – can hardly be termed clean enough for worshipping!

Ganesh devotees need also to think twice before ordering tall idols. It is pathetic to see 12-feet high idols being pushed into the immersion ponds and forcibly drowned. So much for the devotion that we show to the favourite god! Do sentiments not work here?

Talking of religion, the NMMC-administered area has close to 500 illegal places of worship and Kopar Khairane tops the table with 124 unauthorised religious structures.

A civic survey shows that the religious structures have literally mushroomed over the past four years. The city had just 36 illegal places of worship in 2010. Politicians have advised CIDCO to go slow on such structures during the Lok Sabha campaign.

This is the 88th in a series on Navi Mumbai by veteran media professional B N Kumar, a long-time resident of Mumbai’s twin city. He can be contacted at: mailbnk@gmail.com

B N Kumar

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Published on: Thursday, September 11, 2014, 12:02 AM IST
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