Pravin Rivakchand Shah is a BJP corporator from R-Central Ward, Borivali.
He is the President of Jai Hind Samaj, Borivali and also had held the post of Special Executive Officer. He had taken initiative to complete road construction and sewage projects in his ward. Pravin Shah shared his views about the BJP’s equation with Shiv Sena, corruption prevailing in BMC with our correspondent Gautam Korde.
How did you make a foray into politics?
I was associated with RSS since I was 14 years old. I am 62 now and I was born and brought up in Borivali. It’s been quite a long time that I am familiar with this area. From RSS, I joined Janata Party and subsequently became a part of BJP and received the opportunity to serve people. I have been serving as a corporator since last three years.
Tell us about the most important work done by you in your ward.
I have worked hard for the welfare of the residents of my ward. To help them, I have built many new roads and gardens. I had constructed six to seven roads and have built four big gardens in Saibaba Nagar. One of them has achieved prominent position all over Mumbai. Steps were taken to renovate Jawaharlal Nehru Garden too.
Mumbai witnessed flooding due to heavy rains that occurred on August 29 and two consecutive days last week. Do you think Shiv Sena is responsible for these incidents?
I don’t know if Shiv Sena can be blamed for it but I believe that the relation between BJP and Sena has strained. Heavy rainfall occurs in the city every year. This time we informed the Mayor that sewages all over the city should be cleaned. However, I was not satisfied with the work done in Borivali.
So, you think both the Mayor and Commissioner are responsible?
Yes. Mayor didn’t impose too much pressure on the Commissioner and that’s the reason work was not done properly.
BJP always raises many corruption charges against BMC but till now not a single Shiv Sena politician has been arrested?
Many contractors and officers were imprisoned but we are not satisfied with the action taken against them. They have only siphoned off our money. The hard earned taxes paid by the Mumbaikars have flowed in rain water due to BMC’s negligence.
Shiv Sena is ruling Mumbai since last 35 years but no development is visible at ground level. What is your take about it?
Poor sewage water and waste management is very evident in the city and suburbs. Apart from that, the roads are in the most pity state. If Narendra Modi would’ve been in the BMC, Mumbai could’ve got ‘roads made of silver’.
So do you hold Shiv Sena responsible for poor governance?
Both BJP and Shiv Sena are responsible. Now we are raising our voices against corruption prevailing in BMC but 15-20 years back we failed to do that as we were scared of Sena. As BJP is in power at the centre, we are in a position to make Sena accountable.
We have heard many controversies in your area regarding Gopal Shetty or Vinod Tawde camp. What is your comment about those?
I am a person who always speaks the truth and I see nothing wrong in it. We believe in working together. Both of them are efficient leaders and work closely on ground level issues.
You belong to Jain community. Recently one of Shiv Sena’s veteran leaders had spoken many ill-words against Jain Guru. What is your take about it?
Sena has committed a major mistake by speaking against Jain Guru and people will overthrow them from BMC in the next election.
What is your view about corruption prevailing in BMC and how do you curtail it?
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his officials are trying hard to make Mumbai and Maharashtra corruption-free. Irrespective of caste and religion, Mumbaikars should come together and contribute for the city’s development. If Mumbai develops, Maharashtra will develop and state’s progress will take the nation forward.
Tell us if you’ve any dream project for your ward?
Parties including Shiv Sena, Congress believe in my work. Of late, there has been a sharp rise in cases of Tuberculosis and Cancer in the city. To help patients we are developing one diagnostic centre in Punjabi Gali, ward no 15. Patients face many hurdles to visit Tata Memorial Centre for seeking treatment. If we can develop one such centre in Borivali, it will benefit citizens staying in the vicinity. We will also arrange 100-200 beds for cancer patients in the same diagnostic centre.