Where traffic & dirt don’t move

MIHIKA BASU & SHARVARI PATWA find parking is major problem in D-Ward,where garbage has made 'gullis' home

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Mumbai | Published: July 2, 2013 12:51 am

Home to some of the richest and a hub of commercial activity,D-Ward lacks parking space and faces frequent and long traffic snarls.

From posh bungalows on Malabar Hill to cramped buildings along Grant Road,from slums in Tardeo to Marine Drive and the quaint Khotachiwadi,it is a ward of contrasts.

From business centres such as Crawford Market to Breach Candy and other hospitals,finding parking space in D-Ward is next to impossible.

“Be it Crawford Market or Opera House,the roads are always congested as people from across Mumbai and outside come here for purchases and business. Traffic snarls at peak hours can be tiring,” said corporator Shantilal Doshi.

The ward spread over 8.03 square km has a population of 4.13 lakh. “Owing to lack of parking space,most streets are always clogged. This makes maintenance and cleaning difficult,” said Parag Masurkar,assistant municipal commissioner.

He said the ward did not have more scope for on-street parking and the new development plan will have to ensure enough space for the purpose.

BMC data show there are 10 parking lots in the ward.

“The ward has two segments — the so-called ‘up-the-hill’ area,which includes Malabar Hill,Altamount and Pedder roads that have citizens groups,and the so-called ‘down-the-hill’ area that includes Girgaum,Lamington Road,Opera House and Nana Chowk. The ‘down-the-hill’ area does not have active groups to take up issues. The traffic situation is chaotic. We will concentrate on Tardeo division and take up the issue with additional commissioner,traffic,” said Theo D’Souza,Agni Joint Area Action Group coordinator.

Many families own more than one vehicle,leaving little or no space for parking. Many end up parking on road sides,there is also the problem of double parking in several areas. Use of public transport is minimal.

Many residents of chawls own two-wheelers now.

“A proposal for a parking lot near Grant Road Station for two-wheelers is caught in red tape for more than six months,” said corporator Noshir Mehta.

The ward is also home to nine hospitals. “Breach Candy,Saifee and Jaslok do not have adequate parking facilities. This must be addressed urgently,” said Indrani Malkani,ALM ward coordinator.

Dirty,narrow lanes between houses in the island city is another challenge. These “house gullis” are full of garbage.

“It is a major problem. Awareness among residents is a must to ensure ‘house gullis’ are clean. Negligence can lead to hygiene problems and health issues,” said corporator Surendra Bagalkar.

Mehta,corporator from 210 ward of Bellasis Chawl and Navjeevan Society,said though a large percentage of population lived in ‘house gullis’,funds were often diverted for development and infrastructure projects in Malabar Hill and Napean Sea Road.

“Roads in areas home to many VIPs are repaired frequently,house gullis are neglected,” he said.

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