Mumbai: Eight years after the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) shut the Mahim subway, on Thursday, it finally woke up to the residents’ woes and decided to open the subway after deploying security guards by next week.
The Mahim subway at Lady Jamshedji Road, which was built in 2008 by the civic body, was shuttered by the MCGM citing ‘security reasons’. The subway connected Veer Savarkar Marg at Lady Jamshedji Road to St Michael Church which has a school whose students would have been benefitted by the subway.
The residents were finding it difficult in the start to open the subway. Irfan Machiwala, Mahim resident, said “We were approaching political bigwigs from MP Rahul Shewale to the local Corporator Shradha Patil but failed to get it opened. Also, Ramakant Biradar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G north ward, cited shortage of funds for deploying guards, instead, he asked us to sponsor for the security guards.” Biradar was unavailable for a comment when tried contacting.
Following this, the residents approached Shaina NC, BJP spokesperson, who led a delegation of the Mahim residents to civic chief Ajoy Mehta. “After Shaina approached the civic chief, Pallavi Darade, Additional Municipal Commissioner, was told to visit the site by Mehta. Finally, Darade on Thursday told the ward officer to put up a proposal for appointing security guards at the subway,” added Machiwala.
Speaking to the Free Press Journal, Shaina said, “MCGM has spent Rs 3 crore on this project taking a loan from the World Bank for which the civic body is still paying instalments of the same. But the project was abandoned. This is a waste of public money. Why was the subway constructed at the first place if there was no need for it? Now if it has been constructed, why is it not open for public?”
Darade told FPJ, “For now, in the first phase, we are prioritizing to deploy guards as we can’t put the lives of citizens at risk. I will sanction the proposal as soon as I receive it from the ward after which the subway will be open for public. After this, we will speak to the public in order to understand their requirements and will collect No Objection Certificates to further implement the proposal.”
When asked if the civic body has far stretched the commencement of the subway, Darade said, “No comments.