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Hardas Makhija

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Hardas Makhija was born in Kambar Taluka, District Larkana, Sindh (now in Pakistan) on the 10th of August,1947. After the partition of India his family migrated to Ulhasnagar city of Thane District adjoining Mumbai city. He was born to Shri Sanmukhdas Makhija & Krishna Makhija. His father Shri Sanmukhdas Makhija was a journalist and chairman of erstwhile Ulhasnagar Municipal Council and a member of the Congress Party. His father was a member of the Commonwealth Press Union, London wherein he participated in one of the conferences at London presided by then Prime minister of England Mrs. Margaret Thacther. His mother Smt. Krishna Makhija was a religious lady & a devoted house wife.

Hardas Makhija completed his schooling from Sindhu Education society school and studied up to the final year in RKT College, Ulhasnagar where he opted to major in Arts. He worked with Century Rayon - a Birla group firm - as an Accounts Assistant in 1967. He fought his first municipal councillor election for Ulhasnagar Municipal Council in 1978 and won against the Janta party candidate despite the wave of Janta party throughout the nation and was subsequently elected as a councillor in 1986, 1992, 1995 and 1997. He served as the chairman of various committees of Ulhasnagar Municipal Council and was the Vice president as well as acting president of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Council. In May, 1999 he was elected Mayor of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation and thus he became the first Sindhi Mayor of independent India. His initial tenure was for a year but a new ruling from Maharashtra state government that extended the tenure of all elected Mayors of Maharashtra saw his term get extended to 2.5 years and he remained in chair for almost 3 years.

In one of the conferences of All India Mayors held at Vigyan Bhawan New Delhi in April 2000 and chaired by Shri Jagmohan then Urban Development Minister, Government of India, he suggested giving executive powers to all the elected mayors of India and his suggestion was well received and appreciated by all the attending Mayors.

During his tenure as Mayor of Ulhasnagar a lot of planned development of the city took place. Around 33 roads were constructed according to development plan, new roads were created to ease the traffic of the city, work of town hall was completed, RaiIway over bridge at Powai Ulhasnagar was widened, a new railway over bridge was constructed near Ulhasnagar Railway station to connect Ulhasnagar 3 with Ulhasnagar 4, Gardens at Goal maidan Ulhasnagar 1, sapna garden as Rajiv Gandhi Udyan and various others small Gardens were developed. To stream line water supply to every corner of the city various elevated water reservoirs were constructed in different parts of the city. To make the city clean and green, garbage was collected from every corner of the city during the day and through the night and trees were planted across all 33 roads which were constructed during his tenure. Street lights were installed on all 33 roads.

While widening the roads of the city, cooperation was sought from citizens of the city and they willingly came forward & supported his initiatives. For the sake of development of the city and to motivate the citizens of Ulhasnagar to cooperate in development of the city he carried out a demolition of his own showroom for a road widening program and created an example before the citizens of Ulhasnagar.

After his tenure as the Mayor ended, Hardas Makhija served the city as nominated corporator for one more term & he is now involved in social work. He is credited with saving the famous Jhulelal Mandir of Sindhis at Cuff Parade, Colaba, Mumbai besides the seashore. When Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde cancelled the lease of the plot on which Jhulelal Mandir stood, Hardas Makhija as part of a delegation of Sindhis of Mumbai along with the trustees of the Mandir, impressed upon the Hon. Chief Minister that his action of cancelling the lease of the Mandir's plot will result in an identity loss for Sindhis and his advised convinced the Hon. Chief Minister who agreed not to cancel the lease of the Mandir.

He also took up the matter of renaming Ulhasnagar as Sindhunagar on various occasions including when he met with Hindu Hrudaya Samrat Late Shri Balasaheb Thackrey Shivsena supremo in the year 1995-96 as Vice President of Ulhasnagar Municipal Council & he again took up the issue with Shri L. K. Advani, then home minister Govt. of India at his North Block office after becoming the Mayor of Ulhasnagar.

Shri Hardas Makhija is happily married to Smt. Poonam Makhija a house wife & his three children Mahesh, Priya & Heena are also happily married with their kids.





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