Friday, December 21, 2007

Uddhav Thackeray criticises Congress-NCP, calls rally

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday criticised the ruling Congress-NCP government for repealing the Urban Land Ceiling (Regulation) Act (ULCRA) and called on Shiv Sainiks not to allow the city to be hijacked by builders.

He said that if the poor did not get their due, the Sainiks would not allow a single brick to be laid for the proposed construction of high-rise apartments in the city. If slum dwellers were denied water at the expense of these high-rises, then water pipes would be broken, he warned.

He said slum dwellers would be affected by the Dharavi re-development plan and even the airport expansion plan would displace poor people. He said Mumbai need not beg the Centre for funds for re-development. At least 25 per cent of the taxes Mumbaikars paid must be returned to the city for re-development, he said.

The repealing of ULCRA would open the floodgates for builders and high-rise apartments. “Where will all the amenities come for these new buildings,” he asked.

On the one hand, the government was making way for builders and on the other, it had scrapped the “zhunka bhakar” stalls which used to sell cheap food.

IMO: Food is certainly dear enough already for the poor. The new supermarkets are all very well, for the well off, but the cost of their construction and management has to be met somewhere. Presumably costs will eventually be fully reflected in prices and company profits. In the U.K. food is very expensive and farmers are going bankrupt because they are being squeezed by the supermarkets. In India, prospects may be even worse because of the 123 agreement, which apparently at the present time may be projected to solve only 2% of India's power problems, horrible as they are here in Vasai. In fact the so-called global warming protest where city dwellers were told to turn the electricity off for an hour because of global warming, met the admittedly mildly sarcastic response from some : "we cannot do that, it is never on for an hour". Almost true, Vasai sometimes reminds one of Stalinist Russia, in the country - all black dark in places. So what will 123 do ? Well it is likely to provide GM food for India. This could ultimately, and fairly soon, mean that for India to have farms, they will be dependent on the US for GM grain replacements. i.e. they will have to pay enormous licence fees for GM food, and be under US control. The way the US beat Russia in the cold war, and could impoverish every Indian who may also, because of expensive housing due to the repealing, have no homes and no food. Just nuclear bombs, which they have already. The USA looks like a good target.

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