Ahead of the civic polls, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) threw open the Mahim subway for the public earlier this week. Officials from the G North ward office said they had deployed security guards and cleaning staff inside the subway following demands by residents. “We opened the subway earlier this week. We have also provided security and cleaning staff for its maintenance,” said Ramakant Biradar, assistant municipal commissioner of the ward. “Now, we hope the subway is used by local residents and it may help resolve the traffic issue also,” he added.
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Though the 150-m stretch was constructed in 2008, the remaining stretch could not be constructed because of a water pipeline running under it. However, the stretch was kept open for the public earlier this year but was closed subsequently following complaints of chain-snatching, etc. Then, the civic body has refused to provide security at the subway, stating that it is the responsibility of the police, which also refused to provide security.
Recently, Mahim residents along with BJP leaders Shaina NC, Hyder Azam had raised the issue of opening up the subway.
Officials said it was not the civic body’s responsibility to provide security at the subway.
“Following insistence by residents, we have provided security for the time-being. For cases like chain-snatching, BMC security guards may not be able to take any action. So, we will asses the requirement of security guards later based on the use of the subway by residents,” said an official.