Every day we hear of residents of Mumbai grieving about water scarcity and civic nightmares. Thane is no different. The municipal corporations of both the cities have failed to provide tax paying citizens with their basic constitutional rights – ranging from clean water to hygienic surroundings to civic rights of good infrastructure and good roads. It’s here that NMMC’s work can be easily termed as “par excellence”. If CIDCO’s planning made Navi Mumbai, then NMMC is credited for the rest of the best. But there is one point that is common in leading CIDCO and NMMC from the front to make this happen – that is the city leadership. NMTV Weekend Special today celebrates the feat of Navi Mumbai beating Thane and Mumbai to become the next International City. Thane and Mumbai are Navi Mumbai’s neighbours. So it’s not difficult to know what’s making news in both these cities. And if the past two years is anything to go by, then it’s been raining civic nightmares for residents of both Thane and Mumbai. The way the leaders and municipal corporations of both these cities have failed tax paying citizens, is creating a line of distinction between Mumbai and Thane and Navi Mumbai. So much so that today Navi Mumbai is all set to become the next International City. Let’s first take a look at the areas where the MCGM failed Mumbai and TMC, Thane. * POOR WATER SUPPLY Water scarcity is becoming the single biggest civic horror for residents of Mumbai and slowly one of the reasons for foreign investment fearing to invest in Mumbai. Everyday, one can read and see news reports of water crisis in Mumbai that is worsening by the day. As if water shortage was not enough, the fact that MCGM has not done anything to replace old city water pipelines in time leads to news reports of pipeline bursts almost everyday. Besides the MCGM, there are MMRDA, MSRDC and MHADA like government agencies working in such a haphazard way that the term “planning” is abused and misused everyday. The condition of Thane is no different where water scarcity haunts the lives of tax paying citizens. Even with such water crisis, the water rates in both these cities are very high. * POOR MUNICIPAL SCHOOLS The condition of municipal schools both in Mumbai and Thane expose just how the leaders of both MCGM and TMC failed and that’s why municipal school reel under dire and in some areas even under life-threatening conditions. * POOR BUS SERVICES Who doesn’t remember the incident when commuters of Thane had to literally hijack a municipal transport bus when repeated requests and pleas of commuters about frequency and bus services fell on deaf ears? * POOR INFRASTRUCTURE Mumbai is choked and Thane is suffocated. Despite the Supreme Court’s clear guidelines on the need to have scientific disposal of garbage, neither MGCM nor TMC have been able to even have a proper set up of a dumping ground, forget having scientific processing units. In addition to these there are other infrastructural horrors as well. From parking to vehicle pollution to poor railway stations to deteriorated sewerage and water pipelines and no future planning to tackle these – Mumbai and Thane are heading for a bleak future. NAVI MUMBAI BEATS MUMBAI AND THANE It’s on all these fronts and many more that Navi Mumbai has beaten Mumbai and Thane both. * REGULAR WATER SUPPLY Navi Mumbai is the only city in the state to have a permanent source of water supply in the form of Morbe Dam. The present capacity of the dam is 350 MLD. And this is being increased to 450 MLD by NMMC that will make the supply more than the demand. Thus making surplus water available for sale and revenue generation as well. * NAVI MUMBAI – NATION’S EDUCATION CAPITAL With the best education opportunities available, Navi Mumbai is fast-emerging as the educational capital of India. Each node is self-sufficient in quality education facilities. About 22.5 per cent of the total population is considered to be school-going and adequate provision is made to absorb it in each node. The city has schools that offer various syllabi – the State Education Board, CBSE and ICSE. Besides the regular arts and science colleges, there are higher education institutions that provide courses in engineering, medicine, catering and management. Students from adjoining towns and suburbs come to Navi Mumbai in their quest for quality education. On the other hand while municipal schools in Mumbai and Thane are reeling under pathetic conditions, Navi Mumbai Municipal Schools – with new buildings, excellent board results, audio-visual aids and computers rooms. * COMMENDABLE MUNICIPAL BUS SERVICES Who would have thought that traveling to Mumbai in air-conditioned Volvo buses on municipal fares would be a reality? NMMT bus services have finally won the approval of commuters. * TURBHE LANDFILL SITE AND SCIENTIFIC WASTE DISPOSAL Navi Mumbai waste collection, disposal and landfill site is a big success as compared to neighboring cities Thane and Mumbai. * NO INCREASE IN TAXES FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS At a time when inflation is hitting the common man, there has been no increase in municipal taxes in Navi Mumbai. * SUPER INFRASTRUCTURE Navi Mumbai has the best infrastructure from roadways, railways, industries & housing facilities. From the Palm Beach Road to the Thane Belapur Road and even interior city roads, Navi Mumbai has some of the finest built and maintained roads. The railway stations and bus services give the city a good connectivity and affordable means of transport. Health services are seeing new heights with the entry of Apollo, Wockhardt and Fortis Healthcare to name a few. Several countries are going to set up their embassies in Airoli for these very qualities and features of Navi Mumbai. * NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL’S SUPER CITY OF THE WORLD Navi Mumbai is the only city of India featured in the National Geographical Channel’s Super Cities of the World Series”. The channel classified Navi Mumbai as one of the biggest planned cities in the world. As many as 1.3 million people have already opted to relocate to Navi Mumbai. According to the Social Economic Survey in 2005, * The average literacy rate in Navi Mumbai is 98% * The working class is 32% of the total population * The percentage of people living in there own houses are 74% * The percentage of people having their own vehicles is 49% * The percentage of students studying in Navi Mumbai itself is 96% * The percentage of people are working & have their houses in Navi Mumbai is 58%. * NAVI MUMBAI – EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP If CIDCO’s planning made Navi Mumbai, then NMMC is credited for the rest of the best. But there is one point that is common in leading CIDCO and NMMC from the front to make this happen – that is the city leadership of Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik since the time when CIDCO was making Navi Mumbai. While his opponents attack Ganesh Naik for taking credit for CIDCO’s work, this man’s public admission of Ganesh Naik’s leadership should be enough to silence all critics. For this man is R C Sinha – the former MD of CIDCO who has credited Ganesh Naik for being the leader they needed to make Navi Mumbai what it is. In the past, eminent names of Navi Mumbai representing various industries have been all praises for Ganesh Naik’s leadership. As far as NMMC is concerned, even the opposition cannot deny the work that Ganesh Naik has done as the leader of the ruling NCP party in NMMC. And eminent residents of Navi Mumbai like Shankar Mahadevan have even acknowledged NMMC’s work on public platforms. So if Navi Mumbai is all set become the next International City due to the joint efforts of CIDCO and NMMC – equal credit for this goes to the effective and visionary leadership of Ganesh Naik. And what’s remarkable is that Navi Mumbai has two representations in the form of Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik and MLA Sandeep Naik in the state and MP Dr. Sanjeev Naik in Delhi to boost up future development projects. Navi Mumbai has world-class urban infrastructure, including state-of-the-art transportation facilities, healthcare system, educational institutes, regular water supply and representation in both the state and the center. Beyond any doubt, Navi Mumbai has beaten Mumbai and Thane to become the next International City. With Managing Editor Zeba Warsia, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
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