Let's make Mumbai a better place to live for all categories of people.
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Wake up Mumbaikars! Mumbai is going through a very sensitive phase and it’s needs the help of all who can call themselves Mumbaikars whether born in Mumbai or have adopted Mumbai as their ‘Karmbhoomi’.
A few weeks back there was a freak tragedy when there was a stampede at a foot over bridge at Elphistone Road station where 23 innocent people lost their lives. They were helpless victims of severely overcrowded infrastructure of the suburban railways in Mumbai.
Is there a remedy? Only one, which is to increase more railway routes across Mumbai which has begun by way of Metro routes. Increasing a few FOB or widening them is a temporary remedy albeit it needs to be taken up till the new metros reduce the load on the trains.
All fine but there is a major issue to that happening soon or can be derailed by some vested interests among us who are either incapable of understanding the complexities or are just shortsighted and care for their own interests.
Who are this vested interests? There are many like some pseudo environmentalists ( an NGO, A facebook group et. al.) who are opposing a car shed to be built in Aarey quoting a few hundreds or a few thousand trees would be cut down. They are crying hoarse that the last green space of Mumbai will be destroyed. That the aarey is an endangered ecology and would change the climate of Mumbai and so on and so forth. Who educated them that climate change is a local phenomenon is intriguing. The forest department planted 4 crore trees this monsoon in Maharashtra and the target next year is 13 crores. Won’t this colossal number of trees mitigate the climate change? At least a few lakhs of trees would have been planted around Mumbai. Who stops the activists from planting 30000 trees in Aarey itself? There is enough open space available for the same in Aarey. Where were these activists when a builder was building a large number of bunglows, apartments and hotel in the area clandestinely reclassifying the land use with the help of politicians or when a number of TV studios cropped up and started using it for Soap serials? Aarey was not so densely populated a few decades back. Today so many outsiders not connected with the stables and dairy have become residents of Aarey. Why don’t they ask the government to clear the complete area of dairy infrastructure as it is not the primary source of milk for Mumbai which it may have once been.
There are regional politicians who cried hoarse when the elphistone tragedy happened and had a token rally to demand more facilities while also opposing the development of new infrastructure for the same car shed reason. There are individuals who cite reasons like we are not able to sleep because of the noise generated by work. Who stops them to install soundproof windows or move out of the city temporarily/permanently?
The question here is about relief to 75 lakh passenger trips travelling in locals every day. How can a few individuals of groups hold a huge population of Metro like Mumbai to ransom? I would like to inform these ignorant people that on an average 10 people die on the tracks every day in Mumbai and a similar number of people die due to road accidents. A few of them may be suicides but most of them are accidents. One needs to understand the pain the kin goes through who lose their dear ones in these accidents. Sadly judiciary is also taking cognizance of such frivolous petitions and not recommending stern actions againest vested interests.
Seeing some response and getting a ear from judiciary and govt. A new group has cropped up demanding an underground Metro 2B instead of elevated. Woah!! Do these bunch of people think that a Metro project is planned in a day? Or is it feasible to change the plan at the last moment when the contracts are going to be signed? Is it possible to justify the multiple times the cost of underground compared to elevated Metro? These is only going to delay the much needed infrastructure to millions of Mumbaikars who need it. Or it may be shelved altogether the way it was done after the first metro was a few years back. All this just because a few individuals find it inconvenient to move around when the metro work would be in progress?
Early this century a former prime minister has promised to transform Mumbai into Shanghai but all we got was one delayed Metro with highest ticket charges that too because of a stay order not to increase further and at a highly inflated cost which is also under dispute. Rest all projects were shelved until now.
I no longer travel by locals regularly but a few decades back I was a daily traveler during peak hours and the crowd then was similar because the number of trains were fewer and old trains were much cramped. Today the trains have increased and are more spacious but so has the quantum of people. The measures are just not enough. We need trains on more routes.
I would like to urge Mumbaikars to press the government by way of this petition to expedite the pace of work on the metros and if possible to try cover up the lost time to deliver the projects on time if not earlier by working 24/7. Insist on more routes where needed and start them all together rather then consecutively so that all the inconveniences are over sooner rather than later. I hope most of the Mumbaikars would be willing to pay higher taxes if need be if the projects are delivered in time.
I would like to urge the Mumbaikars not to stop at signing this petition but individually keep tweeting, emailing or writing the old fashioned letters to the Chief Minister, MMRDA, Judiciary to discard frivolous complaints and petitions and reprimand such persons who just delay the benefits of millions for their own interests.
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