Mumbai: Despite heavy floods in various districts of Maharashtra this monsoon, the issue of flooding is conspicuous by its absence in the BJP and Shiv Sena election manifestos.
According to citizens and activists, both parties have touched upon development issues in their manifestos but there is no mention of preventing floods and preserving green spaces.
“The common problems of Mumbai have been ignored in both manifestos. Even as the BMC comes under Shiv Sena, the issue of severe flooding during the monsoon, which took place four times this year, has been neglected,” he said.
According to residents of Navi Mumbai and Uran, these areas, for the first time ever, have experienced heavy flooding. “Around seven villages of Uran were flooded this year. It was severe in Kunde village. It took place in the wake of the destruction of wetlands. Due to the landfill work, ponds that retain excess rainwater, have been reclaimed,” said Tukaram Koli, a fisherman from Uran.
Activists said that the environment, too, does not find mention in the manifestos of the ruling parties. “Fishermen from Uran and other areas in Mumbai lost their source of income as fishing areas were grabbed for projects by the ONGC, Navy and JNPT. The NMSEZ and JNPT SEZs continue to destroy mangroves and wetlands in Uran, and NHAI has destroyed 5,000 mangroves for its highway expansion on NH4,” said environmentalist Nandakumar Pawar.
B.N. Kumar, Nature Connect, said, “Rainwater harvesting just remains on paper though it is a must for all. We seriously wonder as to how civic bodies issue occupancy certificates to buildings with no rainwater harvesting. You ought to take a tough stand on this.” if you are serious about saving water and charging underground water tables.”