Ajoy Mehta, the Commissioner of Municipal Corp of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) or BrihanMumbai Municipal Corp (BMC) was invited by the Mumbai Press Club to present his vision on making Mumbai a World Class City. Haven’t we heard this line for more than two decades? Is there any wonder that his vision came out practically only through the question and answers?
Almost immediately, after he began to talk, promptly he said that there is nothing more important to Mumbai than the Coastal Road.
He also said that BMC cannot be sticking to only potholes issue and must look beyond. While most of the question hovered around punishing the defaulting contractors and tenders greeting ready for fresh works on road contracts, defaulting contractors will be criminally liable for poor quality of roads. He also said that MCGM had located some 350 chronic pothole locations and will be addressing them to target zero potholes in the coming years.
MCGM is now planning to recycle wastewater for gardening and flushing. The Municipal Corp is also planning four hospitals in the suburban Mumbai even as it is concentrating on providing primary treatment, Mr Mehta said.
He concurred when pointed out that with 95% of population walking on the roads, their safety and comfort was being compromised by keeping footpaths in appalled state. Until being pointed out that debris from public works encroached the footpath, he held the view that it was encroached by roadside vendors.
On the whole, the Municipal Commissioner had hardly placed his vision of making Mumbai into a global city.
(Sudhir Badami, an IIT Bombay graduate in Civil & Structural Engineering is a Transportation Analyst. He has extensively worked in planning and design of Civil and Structural Works including tower building structures, stacks and process columns as well as flexibility analysis of piping systems and challenging erection planning of structures and equipment. He was on Government of Maharashtra’s Steering Committee on BRTS for Mumbai and MMRDA’s Technical Advisory Committee on BRTS for Mumbai.)