Local Lens

Illegal parking adds to woes of K-east ward locals

Written by Express News Service | Published: August 29, 2013 1:05 am

Illegal parking adds to woes of K-east ward locals

Illegal parking of vehicles has aggravated citizens’ woes in the K-East ward. Apart from a traffic impediment,citizens see illegally parked vehicles as a threat to security in the ward that consists of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and industrial area Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone.

“The problem persists across the ward. During peak hours,traffic gets worse because of illegally parked vehicles on the main road. The road near the airport is cleared only when VIPs visit the city,” said Godfrey Pimenta of Watchdog Foundation (WF).

According to Pimenta,the traffic police have been asked repeatedly to look into the problem. In a letter sent to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan earlier this week,WF stated,“The mess which we find today is due to sheer abdication of duties by the Mumbai Traffic Police.”

In the letter,they have named seven areas,including Andheri-Kurla Road,Saki Naka Junction to Kamani junction in Kurla,and Leela junction to Sahar airport,that face the brunt of the mess. Pimenta said corporators were helpless as the traffic police failed to do its duties.

Shiv Sena corporator Pramod Sawant said he had written three or four letters to the Regional Transport Office within a year and a half. He added that the traffic police also acted against illegal parking,but they required better logistical strength to be able to take effective action.

“Sometimes the action is very prompt,at other times,it is not. The problem persists because the illegally parked vehicles resurface. If one is removed,another is parked at the same place,” Sawant said.

Drug addicts spread terror in Malwani area

Locals of Malwani and Malad west have been complaining to police officers and civic officials about drug addicts in the locality,especially after the alleged murder of an activist in the locality recently by a family of five,involving drug addicts. Locals said drugs like charas and ganja were easily available with small-time peddlers,who these men had access to.

“For the past several years,we have been urging the police and civic authorities to clear the area of these drug addicts. The police takes action from time to time,but the drug addicts return to haunt us. We cannot walk on the footpaths of Malwani area as they are encroached upon by these addicts,who commit small time robberies because of their addiction,” said Samiulla Shaikh,a writer and resident of Malwani.

Abdul Shaikh,senior police inspector of Malwani police station said,“We have been taking action and also conduct night patrolling to make the footpaths free of such addicts.”

Pace of illegal construction gains momentum

Rapidly increasing illegal construction near the shoreline at Khar Danda has become a cause of worry for Khar residents. Locals said while pucca illegal constructions had been coming up in the area close to Khar Danda village for over a decade now,owing to the nexus between local politicians,builders and ward officials,the pace of these constructions had suddenly gained momentum.

Vijay Gore,a resident and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena worker,said,“These are ground plus two structures and residents living in nearby shanties buy them for anywhere between Rs 12 to 20 lakh. In the past few months,more than 100 new structures have come up. A total of 700-800 illegal structures stand in the Khar Danda area alone. We have made repeated complaints with the ward office. Whenever they come for demolition they merely raze a few side-walls”. These structures have come up on both collector and BMC land.

Andheri residents battle mosquito menace

More than 600 residents of Seven Bungalows,Andheri,may have adequate civic amenities,but they have been battling the menace of mosquitoes for over four years. Residents of 14-storied Avinash building are fighting the problem that has arisen of a disputed property adjoining their building. “The property has been disputed and no one is responsible for its maintenance. We have repeatedly requested the BMC to fumigate the place,as stagnant water on the premises is a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” said Ashish Bhavnani,a resident of Avinash building.

The over 200-m stretch of land has a creek and mangroves adjoining it. “The BMC will increase the fumigating activity in the area. However,as a part of the disputed property is mangroves and creeks,one cannot stop mosquito breeding in such areas,” said Vanita Marucha,Congress corporator of the area.

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