Journey So Far
Forum for IQOLM/S believes that in order to make Mumbai a world class city, we need to augment the existing infrastructure by bringing in latest technology and world class practices. There is a huge scope for improvement in Public Transport. We need to have an integrated system to provide seamless travel to citizens. 97% of people use Public Transport while as 7% of the population uses private transport to get to their destinations. In an era where GOM is trying to build more and more bridges and flyover in an attempt to reduce the traffic woes of Mumbai Suburbs, we are trying to draw the attention of GOM to first focus on Public Transport and bring it up to International Standards.
SOCIAL AUDIT AND RESEARCHES
Situation of Mumbai railway stations: Moneylife foundation completed an Audit of 30 Railway stations in Mumbai/Suburbs in 2015. The audit was about the finding out the actual progress of work being taken up by Railways to improve safety of passengers i.e. rising of platforms as per the HC order, provision of FOBs and Escalators at various stations, provision of GRP and lady police at the stations etc. The audit also covered passenger amenities at the stations like toilets, no. of booking windows, ATVMs, sufficient entry/exit points, signage for guidance of passengers etc. This Audit report has been compiled as a white paper and will be submitted to the Railway Ministry for further action. Mr. Ajit Shenoy, Advisor and member of Forum for IQOLM/S, contributed in this exercise by way of
1) Formulating the scope of project (a joint process),
2) Preparation of questionnaire for the survey,
3) Analysis of the data collected by the students, and 4) Recommendations.
Mr. Chetan, Member of Forum for IQOLM/S team conducted the Social audit of Mulund & Kanjur Railway Station under which he inspected every single facility provided by Station authority, raised doubts with Station masters for their clarification. E.g. Toilet on Platform No. 4 of Mulund Station is closed since last many months, no barriers between track 3 & 4 etc. The findings were forwarded for inclusion in final report. It was a ground zero inspection of amenities to commuters.
Link road (SCLR) Project:The Team of Forum for IQOLM/S, headed by Mr. Jitendra Gupta, Worked on Santacruz – Chembur Link road (SCLR) Project, in which we visited the site and studied the difficulties faced by Gamon India, a construction company for SCLR in executing project near MHADA Buildings in Kurla East near Amar Mahal Jn.
Traffic control:Members of Forum for IQOLM/S worked on traffic issues near domestic Airport junction. We, along with traffic police officers studied the traffic flow on individual level. Mr. Chetan and team worked on Highway crossing project on Eastern Express highway which starts from Suman Nagar Chembur to Mulund toll naka. In spite of having many foot over Bridges, people cross the huge EEH, Which results in accidents. Hence, after a number of follow ups, MSRDC increased the height of road dividers and put barriers to prevent dangerous crossing on EEH.
We are urging the Traffic Police to
1) utilize stringent measures against motorists breaking the red light at traffic signals
2) to disallow red beacons on any government cars.
3) To use red beacons only on Ambulances,
4) To develop public transport in a manner in which car owners find it more beneficial to use public transport than their own cars.
5) To interlink various public transports like trains and busses for easier connectivity to commuters.
6) To improve traffic by making minor changes in existing traffic systems, without changing any infrastructure, to vastly improve traffic.
7) to improve pedestrian movement on footpaths,
8) We have done citizens audit and highlighted the lack of Completion Certificate (CC) for mega infrastructural projects such as Metro, Mono Rail, SCLR, JVLR etc. in last few months. We demand Govt. make it mandatory for all govt. projects to pass through an independent third party audit, may be CAG, for cost of the project and sustainability of same post completion of project, and before throwing it open for the public.
9) We as NGO, in public interest, oppose any proposed increase in Mumbai Metro fare so that it remains a common mans transport and demand a CAG audit of cost of project, since this cost is to be recovered from public by way of ticket fare. 10) Our streets junctions are without necessary High Resolutions CCTV cameras which could not only be used for surveillance but also for e-challan traffic offenders and bring total stop to bribes being offered to the traffic constable, who positions themselves in hiding, further encouraging Red-light jump.
Forum for IQOLM/S participated in an awareness program called “Unclog City Arteries” with Association of Medical Consultants. We wish to highlight the “right of way” for Ambulances on their way to hospitals. Over 2500 Mumbai Doctors attended this program.
In the name of infrastructure development, we are seeing hacking away of trees, mangroves and saltpans on a war footing. Mumbai is ecologically imbalanced, due to which we are seeing massive flooding during the rainy season. Air pollution levels are high, water is contaminated, rivers are polluted, and trees are infected.
Social Audit: In collaboration with Santascruz East Brahmakumari Raj Yoga Center, Forum for IQOLM/S conducted social audit of over 100 mealy bug affected Rain Trees, at Santacruz station and Vile Parle area. With the assistance of Sciformix Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and BK Volunteers, we applied neem paste to roots of over 100 infected and susceptible Rain Trees. We convinced BMC to take an action on the infected trees and remove paver blocks and concrete from around the roots of these trees to abide by the Courts ruling.
Save Aarey Campaign: Forum for IQOLM/S contributed to the Save Aarey campaign by taking a delegation to Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra, to petition against building Metro III car shed in Aarey Colony.
Coastal road campaign: The Forum for IQOLM/S is also a part of the Costal road Campaign. We have sent our objections and Suggestions to the concerned authorities regarding the same. We are concerned about the environmental degradation which this project will bring forth.
In the field of Waste Management Forum for IQOLM/S is considering working on segregation of plastic waste, Dry and Wet garbage for generation of sustainable, non-polluting energy and taking part in the present exercise of Ward level consultations by BMC in preparation of Development Plan 2014-34.
Disaster management workshops: With the support of HSBC bank and in collaboration with Association of Medical Consultants AMC Mumbai, Forum for IQOLM/S conducted 100 workshops on First Responders Disaster Management across Mumbai. We trained over 5000 people to give First Aid and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to victims of man-made or natural disasters.
We conducted a number of health awareness and health care camps with Indian Medical Association. We wish to work further in this field for improving Primary Healthcare in the city.
We are networking with Mumbai Transformation Support Unit, (MTSU) and other NGOg’s like Hamara Shaher Hamara Vikas and Praja to formulate sustainable Housing Development Plan for Mumbai Metropolitan Region. We are urging the GOM to undertake study of efficacy of SRA scheme, incorporate the concerns of Middle Income and Higher Income groups in addition to Lower income groups to formulate a comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan for MMR.
Development Plan for Mumbai: Forum for IQOLM/S has actively participated in Development plan Process by conducting ward level consultations in K East ward along with Affordable Housing Welfare Organization of India. We sent our Objections and Suggestions regarding the same to concerned authorities.
Forum for IQOLM/S has filed an intervention petition in a PIL in the Supreme Court opposing the governments move to extend the cutoff date for slum rehabilitation beyond 1995. Case is pending in the Supreme Court.
Forum For IQOLM/S Conducted seminar on Right to Housing in Mithibai College in 2007, with the students from Law College. 12 Colleges participated in this day long seminar. This seminar was conducted to bring about awareness in students about the difficulties and complexities of owning a house in Mumbai. We aimed at highlighting the issues of problems arising due to a faulty SRA scheme and its adverse effects on Housing in Mumbai.
In the field of Education, Forum for IQOLM/S was on the advisory board of the governments Environment division to conduct environmental education in 250 schools in Mumbai Suburbs for a period of 3 years from 2006-2009.