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Local Lens

Big City,Small Issues

Gorai residents complain of contamination

Gorai,a tourist destination,suffers from frequent water contamination. Protesting against the problem,several Gorai residents reportedly barged into the R-Central ward office recently.

The solution offered,however,was temporary in nature,said Shivanand Shetty,councillor of ward number 8,which covers areas between Gorai and Old MHB Colony. “After locals protested,the civic body replaced only 3 metres of the pipeline,which was completely damaged. The pipeline is around 500-m long and is in bad shape,so it should be replaced. We have been constantly emphasising that all pipelines are in need of replacement. Repairing a small section cannot be a long-term solution. Our pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

Shetty alleged that several residents had fallen ill a few months ago owing to water contamination. He also said that the apathy of civic authorities could also be gauged from the fact that Gorai Gaon had no private hospital. “Despite writing to the civic body several times on the need to set up a hospital in Gorai,no action has been taken. Further,only three of the 40 lodges in Manori are legal,” he said. Shetty added that he would meet BMC chief Sitaram Kunte soon to apprise him of the problems.

Illegal hoardings an eyesore in Andheri


The number of hoardings coming up in Andheri east,especially after the recent visit of BJP’s prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi,is an eyesore for its residents. Activist James John said despite regular complaints,the BMC has remained tight-lipped.

“Hoardings on Modi are still there on certain roads. Now,the Congress has also put up banners on Marol Church road,” John said.

According to residents,the count of hoardings increase during festivals,elections and birthdays of politicians. Corporators,however,deny the presence of illegal hoardings in their wards. K East corporator Anant Bhiku Nar said,”In my ward there are no illegal banners. In other wards,the hoardings are being removed.” Another corporator,Manisha Manohar Panchal,has also denied the presence of illegal banners in her ward (ward 78).

John claimed that corporators had turned a blind eye to the issue. After Janmashtmi,the BMC had pulled down over 600 banners and posters across the city,while by September 9,just before Ganesh Utsav began,over 2,000 illegal banners were removed by them.

Nullah water seeps into homes

The recent spell of rain has resulted in dirty nullah water overflowing and seeping into houses at Shivaji Nagar and Rafi Nagar in Govandi,two of the largest slums in the city. Coupled with inadequate pre-monsoon nullah de-silting work by the BMC,encroachments along major and minor nullahs,and residents throwing waste indiscriminately into open nullahs have resulted in the over-flow.

Shivaji Nagar resident Mofid Khan said,“In slums that are closest to the major nullah,water is knee deep. The BMC always neglects proper de-silting of drains in the area. Residents too act irresponsibly and throw garbage into the open nullahs. Before the recent spell of heavy rain began,I made several requests to the M-East Ward office to carry out de-silting of at least the minor nullahs. But,no action has been taken,” Khan said.

War against encroachments in St Francis Road area

The registered advanced locality management (ALM) has been at loggerheads with K-west ward officers since they discovered encroachment of open spaces on St Francis Road.

The residents allege that the land allotted for parks in the locality has been usurped by local builders. “The development plan clearly shows that the space has been allocated for a garden. However,a builder has encroached upon the space,” said Hina Shroff,one of the members of the Mumbai Nagrik Manch. The complaints made by the members are pending with the ward office. The group in the past has managed to get the proposal for a road which would cause further encroachments in the locality revoked. After complaints to the ward office and a sustained campaign,the civic authorities had relented. “The DP showed a certain strip on land reserved to build a road. On investigating we found that a builder was made a “care taker”. We launched a campaign,complained to the corporator and wrote to the ward officer,until they revoked the order,” said another member.