ashok-chowan1Former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh might have failed to become a people’s leader but his successor Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is definitely heading in the right direction as far as his conduct in the highest political office is concerned. Taking another step in this direction, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was present at the straight talk organized by the Juhu Citizens Forum. The discussions saw majority of the citizens bringing to the Chief Minister the lacunae in the functioning of the MCGM and also hinted at the massive corruption prevailing in the civic body. Even MCGM Commissioner Dr. Jairaj Pathak – who otherwise has answer to every criticism fell short of words in front of the citizens. This is the meet organized by the Juhu Citizens Forum where the residents are directly registering their complaints and grievances with the Chief Minister. In this rare initiative taken by the Chief Minister, the residents put forth their issues which are directly related to them. Film Director Ashok Pandit with the aid of a small film presented the nexus between the civic officials and encroachment mafias. This straight talk with the Chief Minister also saw many chief of government agencies present like those of MHADA, MMRDA, MCGM, Collectors Office and the police dept along with local MP Priya Dutt and Congress General Secretary Sanjay Nirupam. The woes of the citizens were all against MCGM and the citizens were not hesitant in openly criticizing the civic body for all burning civic issues of Mumbai by way of a presentation, where pictures said it all. Questions also varied from the metro rail being laid in the city and the security infrastructure. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan heard the pleas of the residents and made an earnest attempt of addressing each one. Topics addressed ranged from state security, open space, encroachment, builders lobby and parking in the city. The meet was the first of its kind as for the first time, many issues were raised in front of the Chief Minister which otherwise were biting dust in MCGM in the files lying in all MCGM offices. These were mostly those issues that needed to be taken up on priority but due to various reasons and pressure was being ignored by MCGM. Post the meet, the President of the Juhu Citizens Forum Ashok Pundit expressed satisfaction over the meeting. Citizens of Mumbai who were present at the meet called the meet a positive initiative of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. While all present were high on praises for Chief Minister Ashok Chavan for coming forward to directly meet citizens of Mumbai and address their woes, the Chief Minsiter instead praised MP Priya Dutt and Sanjay Nirupam for organizing this initiative. Beyond any doubt, after Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan comes across as a more earnest successor who is experimenting new ways to make the highest political office of Maharashtra all about the public. With cameraperson Vikrant Baile, Rajeev Mishra for NMTV News.

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