2015 - 2016
Erstwhile constituents of NAGAR now amalgamated:
Clean Air (CA); CitiSpace (CS); Clean Sweep Forum (CSF)
4G antennae on Reserved Public Open Spaces:
NAGAR has opposed the decision of the State Government and the MCGM to give permission to install 4G antennae towers (TCS/BS) on Reserved Public Open Spaces. NAGAR filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on 4G antennae tower (TBS) on Reserved Public Open Spaces withthe other co-petitioners being OVAL Trust and AGNI. The first hearing was held on July 20, 2015 and NAGAR obtained a stay on any further permission being given to such installations till the matter is heard.
NAGAR, facilitated by Thomson Reuters Foundation, is being assisted by two international law firms, – MZM law firm & Steptoe Johnson law firm- who have given us inputs on practices adopted in other cities as regards the installation of 4G cell towers on public open spaces.MCGM is in the process of moving a new policy disallowing 4G towers on RPOS. We are awaiting the final outcome of their efforts.
Public Open Spaces:
NAGAR raised concerns about the new draftpolicy concerning public open spaces, which has incorporated terms of the erstwhile Caretaker policy in some of its clauses. NAGAR has brought this to the notice of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, resulting in the policy being reconsidered.A Private Members Bill was introduced in the legislature, seeking to amend the law in order to make it a mandatory duty for the MCGM to look after all its own Public Open Spaces. This would guarantee the allotment of funds for this specific purpose and obviate the need to hand over the spaces to private players. It was accepted by the Legislature and is awaiting a Cabinet nod.
NAGAR conducted several orientation sessions on Better Policing in schools and colleges. NAGAR realised that the existing modes of approach to and interaction with the Police were daunting to the ordinary citizen, thus preventing an amicable relationship between the Police and the Public. In an effort to rectify this position, NAGAR conducted public meetings in various fora and attempted to address the concerns and doubts of the citizens. NAGAR also published a pocket size “Mumbai Police Helpline Directory” and demonstrated the functioning ofthe Virtual police station, a programme for public information (prepared by CHRI),at a Press Conference. NAGAR initiated several meetings with police officials of different ranks and garnered inputs from retired officials, to better understandissues that concern the public vis-à-vis policing.
Draft Development Plan:
The Draft Development Plan (2014 – 2034) was proposed by MCGM, to which NAGAR responded with suggestions and objections. NAGAR used the tools of Digital Marketing to disseminate and promote our viewpoint regarding several issues enumerated in the MCGM’s Draft Development Plan (2014 – 2034), drawing on the experience and learnings of our programs over the years. We partnered with Tempus Fugit Pvt. Ltd. and relied on various social media channels namelyFacebook, Twitter andYouTube, to make our impact felt.An open letter, urging right action for the City’s future development, written to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and signed by distinguished citizens, among them Trustees of NAGAR, was published in The Hindustan Times on April 21, 2015.
Forts of Mumbai:
In an effort to further the cause of Heritage preservation in the City, NAGAR undertook an initiative to rejuvenate the Forts of Mumbai. A survey, conducted by students of architecture under the supervision of Architect Parul Kumtha, resulted in the publication ofa book titled “Forts of Mumbai – Abandoned Treasures. The book was released by Ms. Valsa Nair-Singh, Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya. During this endeavour,NAGAR worked closely with the relevant government authorities like Mrs. Valsa Nair-Singh, S. K. Patil, Director and Dr. Maya Patil,Deputy Director of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums.
NAGAR continued its engagement with the hawker issue, with an emphasis on the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014. NAGAR attended all meetings held by the MCGM & the Urban Development Department, Government of Maharashtra to discuss the Draft Rules proposed for the Street Vendors’ Act and citizens’ suggestions and objections to the same.
Meetings and Networking:
Ms. Nayana Kathpalia and Ms. Meher Rafaat met Mr. Ramanath Jha to provide NAGAR’s inputs for the Revision of the Development Plan (2014 - 2034). Mr.Jhahas been appointed by the State Government to revise the latest Development Plan.
NAGAR attended meetings conducted by Moneylife Foundation on the issue of Solid Waste Management (SWM). NAGAR was part of a core group that deliberated on this issue. Being part of the group NAGAR also met Mr. Ajoy Mehta, the Municipal Commissioner, MCGM to present issues concerning SWM and probable solutions.
Students of the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan were placed with NAGAR for their internship. Working in teams of two, they covered two programs – 1. Preservation & Restoration of Water Bodies and Beaches; 2. Water Conservation.
The team working on ‘Preservation & Restoration of Water Bodies and Beaches’ prepared a case study on the status on water bodies in P-North Ward, MCGM’s largest ward (area-wise).They also prepared a booklet to guide citizens on what they can do to save, protect & conserve water bodies.
The team working on ‘Water Conservation’ made 2 site visits: 1. The Central Railways – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – where Rainwater Harvesting though initiated, was being done haphazardly; 2. K. J. Somaiya College – who have started a successful Rainwater Harvesting project, maintained by the college. The team also prepared slogans and graphics to spread awareness of water conservation and the importance of using this scarce commodity judiciously. With support from sponsors, NAGAR hopes to print theseas stickersto convey the message and distributethem at appropriate places such as educational Institutions and restaurants across Mumbai.
NAGAR was assisted by two law interns from Jodhpur Law College, one worked on the issue of Street Vending and the other on the installation of 4G cell towers on public open spaces. Despite being first year students they made a sizeable contribution to the subject.