Feb 052012

The elections for Local Self Government, IMHO, is possibly the elections that has the most impact on our everyday life. The elected represented is responsible and accountable for a lot of things from good roads, to water supply, to public schooling in the ward, to pavements and general governance at the ward level. Most of the benefit schemes that the Central or the State Governments have announced get implemented at the ward level. The role of a good corporator cannot be over stated.

My local area corporator, Subhash Sawant, was brilliant administrator. Every year, during monsoons, our area would flood & water logging would cause discomfort, distress & disease. Mr.Sawant  had the road levels raised, the gutters cleaned. And, pavements built. For the last few years, even on the rainiest day the area is not water-logged.


With the elections in the 5 states, and the chaos at the Centre, there has been radio and print silence on the upcoming BMC elections. Papers carry something, but that something is usually on political infighting. Also given that the list of contestants was finalized towards the end of last week, and we go to the polls next week, there really hasn’t been time to get to know who are the contestants and why should you vote for them.

Like always the bulk of the candidates are builders. Slum Rehabilitation is big business, and businessmen don’t want to let the opportunity of ensuring that their company gets the order, slip out of their hands. The impact is creaking infrastructure, repeat orders on the same things over and over again. Mumbai needs better governance – but no one wants to bell the cat. After all, who will kill the golden goose ( I am sorry about the mixed metaphors – but they actually work in this case)…:D. The current BMC is run by the Shiv Sena – BJP alliance, but work is regularly given out to companies owned by Congress/NCP politicians… that they are all hand in glove is a no brainer… (imagine a cat, a goose hand in glove:D)…


Given the general quality of candidates, the general despondency over the elections – i decided to leave my comfort zone and meet some who were neither builders, nor their representatives …but, individuals who have done good work and are now looking for authority to do make that difference.

This is part of a plan called Mumbai First  to meet an interesting Mumbaikar every week – someone who has made a difference in their own way, to the world around them. it is to highlight the decency and niceness that is Mumbai.  If you know anyone drop me a line.

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