A uniform government, from the municipal corporation to Parliament, would go a long way in avoiding in-built conflict between the Centre, the state and the local body, paving the way for effective implementation of policies in larger public interest. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said this on Monday at a freewheeling interactive session with the “aam aadmi” across Maharashtra as he fielded a host of questions, from the possibility of a Shiv Sena-BJP post-poll alliance to water management and solar-driven metros. The programme — Our City, Our Agenda — was anchored by actor Pallavi Joshi. Fadnavis fielded questions from the audience across Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Solapur, Akola, Gadchiroli, Amravati and Nashik, among others. Commenting on a post-poll Sena-BJP alliance in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Fadnavis said, “I’m confident that the BJP will on its own merit get the absolute majority. Therefore, the question of alliance may not arise.”
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The chief minister said the BJP was keen on a pre-poll alliance with the Sena. However, the BJP’s emphasis on transparency as a pre-condition for a corruption-free BMC was not acceptable to the Sena, he said, adding that transparency was the single aspect and — not the number of seats — that lead to the Sena refusing to have a pre-poll alliance with the BJP.
Ahead of the elections to 10 municipal corporations and 25 zilla parishads, Fadnavis said, “We have always emphasised on people’s participation. The thrust is on ensuring greater accountability and transparency in the administrative system for development and growth of the state.”
The Right to Services Act, which has been already enforced in the state government effectively, would be extended with the same zeal in the BMC, the chief minister said. “Better road infrastructure, clean drinking water and making the city pollution-free are high on our agenda. Concrete roads using up to 40 per cent flyash, which have been a big success in Nagpur, would be adopted in other parts of state, including Mumbai,” he said.
He said, “We will amend the laws to ensure enough public toilets.” He added, “Often we receive complaints from local residents who don’t want community toilets in their neighbourhood. But we must address this problem.”
On clean seashores, he said untreated sewage water won’t be allowed into the sea. On making rainwater harvesting compulsory in housing societies, he said, “Yes, we believe water should be treated as a commodity. Various measures, including water conservation projects like jalyukta shivar, have brought positive results to tackle drought.”
To a question on traffic problems and pollution, he said the government was working on an integrated transport system to provide alternate modes of travel to the people of Mumbai. Also, more cycle tracks are being worked out, including one along the landscape along the coastal road stretch. The MMRDA has already mooted cycle tracks at BKC.
To a question whether solar energy can be harvested on open terraces, the chief minister said, “It cannot be made compulsory.” But he indicated that sensitising and promoting the alternative energy model was high on their agenda.