With the inclusion of Girgaums chawls in Malabar Hill Assembly constituency,Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha will be concerned about the Marathi population of the old residential quarters in the area,given that MNS candidate Archit Jayakar is working hard to connect with these voters.
The MNS factor could dent Lodhas chances to win the coveted seat,one of Mumbais affluent constituencies,for the fourth time. Ive been visiting chawls in the Girgaum area and its new to me. Ive been going door-to-door to speak to them about the issues of the area. However,delimitation will not affect me because people have realised that voting for the MNS will benefit the Congress-NCP, he says.
Still,there is little he can do about the resentment among the Shiv Sena workers in Marathi-speaking areas of Khetwadi and Girgaum who are less than elated about the seat being contested by the BJPs non-Marathi candidate. Sources said another factor that would work against Lodha is that these workers are not actively campaigning for Lodha,especially since there is a perception that the BJP workers did not campaign for the Senas Mohan Rawale in the Mumbai South Parliamentary constituency in the Lok Sabha elections. Rawle lost to Congress candidate Milind Deora. Lodha,however,is quick to dismiss this. No,there is no such thing as our alliance partners not campaigning for me. Everybody is working actively.
While banking on a positive campaign,Lodha announced his action plan on Tuesday. The issues that I plan to work towards would be to create a traffic-free Malabar Hill. I would start the work on Worli-Nariman Point sea link within 12 months and ensure its timely completion. Also to decongest the areas,a two-way road is needed from Hanging Garden to Kemps Corner along with a provision for parking 1,000 cars in the area, Lodha said.
The Congress-led government hasnt worked on infrastructure,especially in proportion with the amount of revenue generated through taxes from Mumbai.
The other plans include enhancement of civic infrastructure via JNNURM funds,abolition of Octroi in Mumbai,encouraging goldsmiths in Girgaum through the annual gold festival.
Lodha is also eyeing the redevelopment of chawls in Girgaum and Khetwadi. The present redevelopment schemes under 33 (9) DCR needs to change as they are more developer-friendly; it needs to be more beneficial for tenants.