When you talk about Mumbai, it is usually local issues and the most important ones always concern the middle class because the upper middle class frankly do not care. They do not care if trains are crowded as they have private vehicles, they do not care if there is water shortage as there are tankers or power cuts hardly trouble them.
So what are some of the major issues in Mumbai?
Have you ever visited a slum? You will not even be able to walk through it. Forget a fire brigade vehicle trying to pass through. There is water flowing at all places and children play there. Generally all slums have residents who have come from somewhere, so how are slums illegal? The entire Americas have migrants. All came illegally and got absorbed. If slum dwellers are here to stay, they better get better facilities.
The present SRA is a nexus between builders and authorities. The little space given to slums have inadequate facilities, fire brigade cannot reach there and the construction is of poor quality. The builders meanwhile makes tall towers with excellent amenities and sell them at sky rocketing rates.
We are working on a self-funded scheme where every person gets 450 sq ft without any pressure on the government. For this, we have 22,000 acres of land and it can house 1 crore people (slum population of Mumbai) with FSI of 2 and a half and can create 25 lakhs houses. The cost of construction is Rs 12-15, 00 per square feet will work to Rs 3.5-4 lakh crores which will work out to Rs 60-70000 crores per annum in the seven year plan. The Rajiv Awas Yojna (Central government) can give Rs 25,000 crores. One-third can come from state government and municipal corporation and the other one third will come from monetising the remain free land. This will be done through a transparent mechanism. There will be adequate parking place, driveways etc.
In addition, we need to create space for rented housing or else there will be even more slums. Electricity is also a bit of a scam. If we are paying Rs 12-15 per unit, it will make everything unproductive. We can make rates less without subsidies. There is an element of cross subsidies.
There is excess water in Mumbai as well. Just that there is a tanker mafia which is not allowing proper access to that water. If you have a healthy country which is not deprived of nutrition, water and health care, you will make progress.
When it comes to women safety, one needs to know that 45 % of security in India goes towards VIPs. We will bring it down to a minimal level and will redeploy it for the common man. The policemen in India are inadequate. In London, the per capita police is lesser than in India but they have proper CCTVs which acts as a deterrent. If you know you are being watched all the time, crime will come down. The 1861 Police Act is still in force. The intention of the Act was to control us and in a way the Act was designed by the British to make the police seem like enemy of the people. This mindset continues with the police even now. Police, on the other hand, are mired in their own problems, pension issues etc.
Our legal system also needs to be strengthened. For instance, take the Fodder Scam in 1999. The decision was taken in 2014 - 15 years later. The penalty was Rs 15 lakhs-25 lakhs. The scam was of Rs 900 crores and the interest if added will work to Rs 4000 crores at least. Why are even the assets not being seized?
AAP plans to set things right for Mumbai.