By Malvika B.
Like every year, you know that this July when it rains, you will be stuck in traffic. The streets will fill up and you may have to get out of your car and trudge home through the rivulets, praying that there isn’t an open manhole where you walk. You are going to complain about the clogged drains, and the slums, and the hawkers getting in the way; the crowded trains that stink; the malaria; and then talk about how Mumbai needs to be more like London or Singapore, where everything is amazing. Sounds familiar, right?
It’s okay though. You know where to lay the blame – The BMC. A couple of curses thrown its way and you will carry on through the disorder because that is how it must be. You don’t have the time to bother with all that. Ultimately, you have a nice home to go to, where you can put your feet up and lose yourself in that daily soap. We know. You work hard. You have no time to go vote on a Thursday afternoon. And if you get some time off, well, you need a break. You aren’t going to run across the city for something as pointless as voting.
But this monsoon, when you’re stuck in traffic somewhere, trying to get to a doctor so you can get tested for malaria, we want you to remember that Thursday afternoon and blame yourself. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. This year, on the 16th of February, we urge you to vote.
In the last 5 years, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance run BMC has spent over Rs. 21,000 crore on civic amenities. According to the Hindustan Times “The amount the BMC has spent on roads, storm water drains, water supply, solid waste management, health and education in Mumbai is more than the combined budgets of five Indian states and one Union Territory (Goa, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Sikkim and Chandigarh) in 2011-12.”
Rs. 4000 crore has been spent on roads, but the potholes remained, and more complaints led to another Rs. 57 crore being spent on filling the 6000 potholes counted in the city last July – and another Rs. 8 crore was spent filling potholes in a last desperate attempt about a month-and-a-half ago. Over Rs. 7,800 crore was spent on water, and still some areas either don’t have access to regular water supply, or receive contaminated water. Continue Reading