Local Lens

Big city,small issues

Written by Express News Service | Published:August 15, 2013 2:51 am

Problems mount with garbage heaps

Residents of Andheri (east),including Om Nagar,J B Nagar and Cardinal Gracious Road,have raised a stink over the piling up of garbage in the locality and blame the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for not picking up the garbage regularly. Residents are concerned as garbage heaps in the area are growing,becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes and posing a threat of diseases.

“The area to dump garbage is insufficient in the ward (K-East). Garbage is not picked up regularly and when it is,it is done using small BMC vehicles. But,the density of population in the area also has to be taken into account. The least the corporator can do is to ask for bigger vehicles to pick up garbage,” said Sangeeta Sharma,a resident of the area,who had also contested civic elections last year.

Shiv Sena corporator from ward number 76 that shares a border with Om Nagar and J B Nagar,Smita Sawant,however,said they had a day-to-day follow up on grabage collection,but there may be a one-off complaint once in a while.

Sawants’s husband and former corporator of the area Subhash Sawant said some residents continue to dump garbage all day-long even after being told to throw their waste in the mornings before the pick-up vans arrive.

Residents raise a stink over toilet construction

Around 3,000 residents of a housing complex in Malad east are at a potential health risk due to a toilet that has been constructed atop a water pipeline,outside the complex entrance. Residents of 650 flats in 15 buildings of Riddhi Gardens at Film City Road have taken the matter to the assistant municipal commissioner of the P-North ward. The letter was sent to AMC Devendra Jain on August 8,but on Wednesday he said he was not aware of the issue and did not know who built the toilet. Corporator Manisha Patil was not available for comments. The pool of dirty water accumulating outside the toilet and the emanating stench have lowered hygiene levels in the area. Residents said a major water pipeline ran underneath the culvert on which the toilet had been constructed,and was most likely to have come up for nearby slum dwellers,facilitated by politicians. A senior citizen,on condition of anonymity,said the toilet had been built as a proper cement structure with the backing of Congress MLA Rajhans Singh. “They have already put up hoardings lauding him and Congress MP Gurudas Kamat,” he said.

Lack of parking space plagues south Mumbai

With non-availability of public parking lots,residents of high-rises living in South Mumbai between Colaba- Cuffe Parade stretch are a harried lot. With most families owning multiple vehicles,residents here are pushed to park their vehicles in the alleys outside the building,making it prone to theft, damages and congesting roads.

Ashalata Mehta,60,who lives in one of the 50-year-old buildings in Colaba said,“The building barely has any space to park and each of the 12 residing families in the building have at least two cars,” Mehta said.

Acknowledging the problem,Makarand Narvekar,a local corporator,said he had written several letters to the state government seeking reservation of space for public parking. “As much as 20,000 sq feet space is available in just Cuffe Parade area,which could be put to use (parking). There are other small plots,too,which should have been made available by the government,” Narvekar said.

More slum residents,fewer toilets

Despite the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation pumping in considerable funds to the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project,an important component of which is to ensure slum sanitation through building toilet blocks in the slums,residents of Mograpada slums in Andheri East are grappling with the abysmally less number of toilets in their settlement.

“Since the onset of monsoons,more people have migrated to live in our area. There are only five to six toilets and every morning there is a queue,” said 43-year-old resident Shankar Jadav. According to him,waiting in the queue is not as big an issue as enduring the toilet stench is. The result is that a number of settlers choose to defecate in the open.

Ratna Yadav,40,said she avoided using the common toilets. “I work as a domestic help in nearby buildings and use their toilets. I cannot bear the stench of common toilets,” she said.

Residents claim that these common toilets are never cleaned,despite the civic body appointing ‘dattak vast yojanas’- NGOs that are given contracts of building and maintaining toilets in slums. Yadav added that local politicians got the toilets cleaned only before elections.

Local corporator of K East ward,Shubhada Patkar,said she ensured cleanliness procedures once or twice a week. “The people living in the slum should also contribute to maintaining the cleanliness of toilets. Since these are common toilets,very few put water after use. It is unavoidable that the toilets get dirty,because most users are not particular about its cleanliness,” she said.

No place for pedestrians in K-west ward

After complaining with corporators and ward officials for more than four years,residents of Four Bungalows see no end in sight to unusable pavements in the lane that takes them to D N Nagar. Though narrow,heavy traffic passes through the lane at all hours as motorists prefer it to the day-long jam on the Juhu-Versova Link Road. With the pavements either completely encroached upon or in need of urgent repair,pedestrians have no place to go.

“The stretch is important because it connects us to D N Nagar and beyond. The pavements on both sides of the lane are a mess. Paver-blocks on a large patch are broken or missing and drain covers are missing. Half of the stretch is encroached upon by vendors and hawkers. Neither the present corporator,nor the one before him have shown any willingness to address the issue. We have also presented our demands to officials in the K-West Ward Office,but nothing has come of it,” said Alexandrina Aiyar of N Dutta Marg.

“Garbage is dumped on pavements by residents of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) colony on the lane. Whenever,we have raised the issue with the corporator,he said he could not touch the vendors as they too live in the SRA colony. The lane in fact is filthy that children also defecate in the open,” she said.

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