Crisis Management

Initiatives and Accomplishments for Mumbai: Crisis Management

Mumbai in Crisis

In the aftermath of the 1992 riots that were triggered in Ayodhya/Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai suffered with 52 persons being killed in Govandi, Trombay which was Mr. Kamat’s then constituency. People still remember and talk about how Mr. Kamat landed from Delhi and inspite of the rigorous curfew orders, reached out to the people and helped restore normalcy by pleading with the Commissioner of Police Shri Bapat, DCP Shri YC Pawar and the then Chief Minister Shri Sudhakar Naik, by requesting them to extend the relaxation of the Curfew period so that people could be helped and provided with milk, vegetables, meat and bread, which went a long way in restoring normalcy in the most seriously affected area of Mumbai. This effort of identifying with the affected people and being with them in times of crisis has been the hallmark of Mr Kamat’s career.

 

When riots took place in Siddarth Colony, Chembur or when 12 people were shot dead in Ramabai Colony, Ghatkopar, Mr Kamat was in the area helping out the people and the Police to restore normalcy. Subsequent to this incident, which was due to the desecration of Dr BabaSaheb Ambedkar’s half Statue, Mr Kamat took the initiative to get a new full length standing statue installed with all approvals of the Statue and the Memorial Design being approved by the local committee with a view to bring normalcy in the area. The statue was inaugurated by then Chief Minister Shri Ashok Chavan.

Deluge in Mumbai
In 2005, when most parts of Mumbai got flooded due to incessant rains, breaking a 130 year record, Mr Kamat being the Mumbai Congress President, is remembered for walking in waist deep water in the most affected areas across Mumbai helping out people and officials and ensuring proper distribution of food grains and money to the most affected poor, with his team of Congress workers and MLAs, whereas leaders of other prominent political parties had shifted themselves with family to 5 Star Hotels and even celebrating their birthdays.

 

Mithi River Project and BRIMSTOWAD
In high level meetings thereafter with the State Government and the Central Leadership, It was then decided to desilt Mithi river, broaden its borders and deepen its depth so that in times of similar crisis in future water from suburban Mumbai which flows into the Mithi River could easily flow into the Sea at Bandra without affecting the low lying areas. It was also then decided that the Storm Water Drain Pipes need to be changed after 130 years of usage with funding from the Central Government with an initial cost of Rs 1200 Crores. Work has since them commenced across Mumbai and the project cost now stands at Rs 2000 Crore more than the original estimate of Rs 1200 Crore for which Mr. Kamat is pleading with the Center along with the Maharashtra Government for its sanction.

 

Terrorist Attack on Mumbai and the Country
Gurudas Kamat was in the forefront pleading for and assuring people of normalcy. In a top level meeting with the PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Smt Sonia Gandhi, the then CM Shri Vilas Rao Deshmukh, Shri Sharad Pawar, Shri Shivraj Patil, the then Home Minister and other top Govt officials, it was Mr Kamat’s suggestion to cover the entire city with CCTVs and to start with 5000 of them minimum and to secure the country’s coastal borders with High speed Patrol Boats for monitoring and tackling enemies of the country from carrying out any future attacks of such nature, which were accepted. It was this meeting which finally ended with the decision to have a National Security Guard Base and Training Center at the Aarey Milk Colony campus which will train commandoes for Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat. For a start, Mr Kamat sanctioned Rs 50 lacs from his MPLAD funds for CCTV coverage to assist the police detect crime and plans to sanction another Rs 50 lacs in the year 2012-2013. Unfortunately the Police Authorities, in-spite of taking up the matter with the then Mumbai Police Commissioner were not been able to make a decision on the specifications of the same.