Parliamentary Standing Committee looks into the challenges of Mumbai’s urban renewal

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By K. Ashwin Mob: 09920183006 Email: indianshowbusiness@gmail.com

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests, as part of their two day study visit to Mumbai, today held consultations with Maharashtra Government authorities and Civil Society Organizations on range of environmental challenges faced by the Western Metropolis. Issues relating to implementation of Coastal Regulation Zone rules, waste disposal, state of fishermen and marine resources, uprooting of mangroves, noise pollution came up for discussion.

Briefing media persons at the end of Day -1 of the visit, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee, Mr. Ashwani Kumar said “we had an extremely informative discussions, we shared our concerns with the members of the government who came to depose before us.” Stating that growing urbanization presented a great challenge ahead, Mr. Ashwani Kumar observed “the cities of India are going to face huge pressure in terms of migration of about 300 million in coming 25 years. It is necessary for us to appraise ourselves about the state of affairs and steps taken to ensure urban renewal.”

Mr. Kumar remarked “Mumbai, which is our window to the world, is a city in decay. It was necessary for us to understand the enormity of the challenge and to know whether there exists any long term plan to revive the city.” Referring to enforcement of Coastal Regulation Zone, he said the Parliamentary Committee would expect that the Rule of Law shall prevail. Mr. Kumar said “we need to have harmonious interface between imperatives of development and environmental concerns. Primacy of protection of environment is our foremost objective.”

In all, 16 Civil Society Organizations representing sectors like forest conservation, energy efficiency, water conservation, fishermen welfare, urban dwelling, urban design etc, participated in the discussion. The Energy & Research Institute (TERI), Ela Foundation and noted architect Hafeez Contractor were also present. The Maharashtra Government departments of Environment, urban development, industries, energy, housing, forests, pollution control were represented by senior officials, who deposed before the Committee. Commissioner, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Chairmen of the Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT also attended.

The Parliamentary Committee has asked the officials and representatives to give an action plan within two weeks of today’s hearing. The Committee will prepare its report with three months.

The Committee will visit Bhabha Atomic Energy Centre and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd at Anushaktinagar tomorrow (Jan 31) and discuss issues and challenges related to India’s nuclear energy programme. The special branch of nuclear medicine will also be looked into. The Committee will later hold similar interactions in Visakhapatnam too, before returning to New Delhi.

 

Other members of the Parliamentary Committee were – Shri Subbirami Reddy, Shri Nana Patole, Shri D Mishra, Shri Prem Chand Gupta, Shri Arvind Kumar Singh, Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, Shri Paul Pandian, Shri Nagendra Pradhan, Shri Vikram Usendi, Shri Nagendra Singh, Shri Ronald Sapa Tlau, Shri Harinarayan Rajbhar, Shri Bhupinder Singh, Shri C P Narayanan, Shri Ninong Ering and Smt. Bimla Kashyap Soo.

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