Mumbai underground: ‘Dirty’ pride
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Although Mumbai was recently described as the dirtiest city among 40 tourist cities in the world, Mayor Sunil Prabhu, as first citizen of Mumbai, defended the city vociferously. "Even if Mumbai has been listed as the dirtiest among all the cities, it is the only Indian city to feature on the list and that is a matter of pride for us. The people who come up with these surveys do not know the complications involved in Mumbai. All the other big cities in the world do not have a population problem like us — not as many people want to move to other cities, in the way that people want to move to Mumbai," said Prabhu
In a recent BMC improvements committee meeting, a decision was taken to allow private developers to construct private schools on land reserved for civic schools in exchange for developing 15 per cent of the plot into a public school. While discussing how to ensure that there is no discrimination against BMC school students, Congress corporator Mohsin Haider made a particularly interesting demand that was noted down by the civic administration at the meeting. "If we have a public and private school on the same plot of land, they should have separate entrances as the children of BMC schools may face an inferiority complex. Seeing the well-dressed, well-fed children of the private schools, it may create a problem so it will be best to have separate entrances," suggested Haider, dismissing the school and the BMC's responsibility to ensure equality among the students.
Even as the BMC has agreed to audit cost variation proposals which were recently the subject of criticism from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), senior Shiv Sena leaders are worried that the exercise might open a can of worms. Several Sena corporators, including Mayor Sunil Prabhu, Rahul Shewale and MLA Ravindra Waikar are part of the standing committee, which passes such proposals.