Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

As the city goes to vote tomorrow, it is pertinent to think about the key issues that Mumbaikars currently grapple with.

Housing:

Owning a house within city limits is becoming a distant dream for many of us. It is unimaginable to think of owning a house on a single income, without lowering your standard of living. The scarcity of land and the overflow of easy finance has caused an imbalance in the real estate market. In such times, affordable housing has become a matter of your luck, especially for the urban poor. Luck, because only MHADA offers you a chance at owning an affordable house but getting a slot means playing the lottery. Slum rehabilitation projects continue to go slow and are mired in a million controversies. Constant infighting and lack of unity between the slum dwellers means third parties and builder lobbies end up taking advantage.

Poor Air Quality:

The AQI levels have been constantly bad this year and the key causes are rampant construction for buildings and infrastructure, as well as vehicle exhaust. Add to that a depleting green cover and climate change, smog like conditions have become far too common. This poor air quality results into respiratory issues and long term effects on health are now becoming evident.

Poor Mobility:

Even though the infrastructure projects connecting the city are underway, the railways are already past their peak capacity. A train ride during rush hour is nothing short of a nightmare. Alternate modes of transport especially via road are not sustainable from both time and cost perspectives. The current infrastructure is disparate and doesn’t promote seamless integration with your journey.

The solutions to the above issues lie with the public and the public representatives. There is an urgent need to activate the many forums which promote citizen engagement with the administration as well as the public representatives. The power distance between the latter and the general public needs to be bridged.