Gaurang Damani – civic activism

Public interest litigation

Public Interest Litigations (PIL) won:

  • Won PIL, making IRDA implement the national Health Insurance Regulations (2011-2016). This would help about 50 crore Indians who are covered under (private and state) health insurance policies having annual claims of over Rs 37,000 crores in 2019-20.
  • Won PIL against traffic police. Reduction of towing trucks in Mumbai from 130 to 65 and compensation for damage during towing, 2006.
  • Won PIL in 2014 for shifting of 55 garbage trucks and its chowky from residential area, thus solving a 34 years old nuisance.
  • Won PIL against Maharashtra CM, Maharashtra Director General of Police and the Mumbai Police Commissioner for illegal extension of term, 2008.

Railways work done:

  • Received CNBC’s ‘India hoga clean’ award from Minister of Environment Mahesh Sharma ji in July 2018 for the successful beautification of railway stations viz. King’s Circle, Sion, Mahim and Reay Road (first-time in India a station had been adopted). This was due to the efforts of 1650+ volunteers, 2014-2018.
  • Made detailed suggestions for changing the suburban train timetable based on changed demographics and available coaches. Successfully implemented by both Central Railway and Western Railway, 2017.
  • Successfully followed up with Central Railway and Western Railway for completion of boundary walls on both sides of the tracks. This has reduced the number of deaths in the suburban Mumbai railway network.
  • Smart card awareness campaigns at 9 railway stations viz. Mahim, King’s Circle, Sion, Dadar, Byculla, Reay Road, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Wadala railway stations
  • Following-up with railways for implementation of CBTC (advanced signalling system), which will reduce crowding in trains, 2018-21.

Area improvements:

  • Gave suggestion and followed-up with MCGM for implementing Rainwater harvesting/ channeling at flood-prone zones in Mumbai, 2021.
  • Co-ordination with MMRDA and MCGM for beautification of area under the new Matunga flyover, 2016.
  • Co-ordination with MMRDA for renovation of Maheshwari Udyan garden, 2011.
  • Co-ordination with MSRDC and MEP for beautification of area under the Sion circle flyover, 2013.
  • Co-ordination with MMRDA for a Sion station Skywalk, to help local school children.
  • Garbage removal; nala and subway cleaning; Tree trimming at several locations.
  • Mahanagar piped gas lines on Chandavarkar Rd and Brahmanwada area of Matunga.

Environment-related:

road resurfacing workTransit improvements:

  • Complete road re-surfacing of Flank Rd, Road 25, Road 24A, Bhaudaji x Rd 10, Sir Bhalchandra Rd, Rd 32Rambaug Lane, Dinshaw Master Rd and parts of Dr BA Rd and pothole repairs at several locations.
  • Savings of several crores of fuel costs with suggestions implemented by traffic police, for No-right turn at Priyadarshani-Suman Nagar junction; at RA Kidwai Rd divider towards Shanmukhananda hall; at Sion hospital during bridge construction; at Matunga CR station.
  • Footpath re-tiling at specific required locations of Nathalal Parekh Rd, Flank Rd, and certain Sion locations.
  • Got BMC to remove Hawking-zone notification from residential area footpaths of Bhaudaji Rd, and Ram Milan Shukla Marg, through 3-member SC appointed committee.

Other work done:

  • Running since 2000, India’s first e-Governance site diehardindian.com, has over 9,000 local email members.
  • Helping local children with their financial needs for education (2002-2021).
  • Co-organizer of rallies in 2011, in support of Anna Hazare (India Against Corruption) in Matunga (1,500 and 400 attendance); Five gardens (400); Sion (700).
  • Got over 14,000 online pledges against the implementation of the oppressive LBT tax in Maharashtra
  • UID (Aadhaar card) registration for over 6,200 local citizens
  • Voter’s registration and Election Photo ID distribution for over 5,000 local citizens