By Tabassum Barnagarwala, Manasi Phadke, Alison Saldanha, Srinath Rao, Priyal Dave & Dipti Singh
As the six Members of Parliament from the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance take charge in the financial capital of the country, Newsline asks each of them to detail their vision for the city. From unlocking the potential of land to creating more affordable housing, from bolstering infrastructural projects and public transport to doing the balancing act with environmental concerns, the city’s representatives in Parliament list out the issues they will pursue with the Centre in order to transform Mumbai for the better.
ARVIND SAWANT (Shiv Sena)
Mumbai South MP Arvind Sawant’s foremost concern is cluster development, and he wants increased state government role in such projects. “Now, private developers are only taking up projects which are profit making. The government has no interest in profits, so they will actually redevelop old buildings. Also, I feel that even if owners demand a high compensation, they should be given because the end result will be good,” he said.
He added that a map of the entire city should be drawn up with possible clusters that could be developed.
In a constituency like South Mumbai, having diverse economic classes and shrinking open spaces, Sawant believes that the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) lands have a massive potential for growth.
“I am going to call a meeting with MbPT officials and I will hold a separate meeting with unions to understand the issues and opportunities locked in BPT land,” he said. Even while campaigning, he has supported dredging and construction of a new terminal to boost commercialization. He added that when the offshore container berths become fully functional, there will be no significant impact on traffic in the city, a point raised by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Meera Sanyal.
For the remaining land which is free, Sawant plans to float a plan for beautification. “However, security has to be monitored as the land comes in direct contact with the sea route,” he warned.
According to a senior MbPT official, of over 700 hectares of MbPT land, at present one-third port land, is under direct operations, another one-third is used for road transport and the remaining land is under real estate.
Sawant also emphasised the need to relax the Coastal Regulation Zone rules for building towers and developing infrastructure. “If CRZ rules are not people-friendly, like they are in other countries, then a Versova-Nariman Point sea connect or construction to develop Koliwada areas will not be possible,” he said, adding that he is going to take up the issue with the Centre.
Speaking on the issue of local transport through trains, he stressed that the …continued »