After night life and open spaces, the Shiv Sena has now taken up the issue of pedestrians ahead of the civic polls to be held early next year. Aditya Thackeray, president of Shiv Sena’s youth wing, has proposed a plan for ‘pedestrian friendly streets’ and ‘pedestrian streets on weekends’ in South Mumbai. On Thursday, Aditya met municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta to discuss the plan to make K Dubhash Marg in the Kala Ghoda heritage precinct open for pedestrians only. “We took a review of the plan we had discussed earlier. There are various stakeholders including traders involved in it. We will give out details once the plan is finalised,” said Aditya after the meeting.
Sena leaders said that the party wants all the stakeholders — such as residents, owners of shops and restaurants — to be heard. “The pedestrianization plan is to have more space on the footpaths so that people can come and have good time,” said a Sena corporator.
Conservation architect Pankaj Joshi is helping the Sena draw the plans and Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of A ward, is leading the project from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Civic officials said that other roads including Nagindas Master Street and Perin Nariman Street are likely to be taken later on. The details about pedestrian-friendly streets on work days and weekends are yet to be worked out, an official said.
Another official said that in the revised Development Plan 2014-2034, the civic body has already reserved eight streets in six administrative wards as pedestrian-friendly.
Officials said Aditya’s plan is in tune with the BMC’s own plan to make its A ward, that covers areas like Colaba, Fort, Churchgate and Nariman Point, more pedestrian-friendly.
“We may close the roads to vehicles only on Sunday to observe the response. But, a detailed plan will be made after meetings with all shareholders,” said a civic official.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance is again at loggerheads in the civic body. On Thursday, the BJP has raised a protocol issue in the invitation card and has boycotted an event ‘Mahapaur Shikshak Purskar’ by Mayor Snehal Ambekar.
Last week, Mayor Snehal Ambekar had written Chief Minisiter Devendra Fadnavis for not following protocol in inaugurating the swimming pool in Dahisar (E). Ambekar had termed the event unauthorised and had not attended.