Mumbai: Despite having the city’s first metro rail service and huge corporate offices, the Gujarati dominated suburb of the city, Ghatkopar, is dealing with issues like traffic congestion and pothole filled roads. A steep rise in number of hawkers mainly on narrow lanes has escalated the existing traffic woes.
The N ward (Ghatkopar, Vidyavihar and Vikhroli) of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is inhabited with more than 65 percent of slums out of which more than 10 percent slums are situated on the hill. These slum areas suffer from lack of access to proper sanitation since issues like no sewer lines and public toilets are a major concern of this area. However, BJP Corporator Ritu Tawde from ward no. 121 had recently put down a sewer line connecting the city’s sewerage system which benefitted 350 houses on top of the hill.
Tawde said, “The sewer lines were not there for 15 years and the slum dwellers had to walk down to the nearest public toilet. The lives of the slum dwellers are in danger. The residents work on daily wages and are not financially strong because of which they cannot shift to a safer place. I have carried out necessary requirements in order to prevent landslides.”
On the other hand, areas in Vidyavihar have majority of the bottlenecks and several narrow lanes that lead to the Eastern Express Highway. Motorists plying on these roads are stuck in traffic on a daily basis. Ashish Patkar, Ghatkopar resident, said, “Till date, Kirol road and Vidyavihar railway station road are some of the busiest roads in Vidyavihar. The BMC have neither repaired nor widened these roads.”
Roads in areas like Pant Nagar and Garodia Nagar are in poor condition. Hemangee Shah, resident of Rajawadi and an active member of local citizen groups, said, “Most of the roads here are in bad condition. Also, it is dangerous for light vehicles since some of the roads have potholes that don’t appear easily. Illegal hawkers are another issue in Rajawadi. The grocery market here is filled with illegal hawkers and people that arrive to purchase these groceries illegally park their vehicles that add on to the existing congestion.”
Pravin Chheda, Leader of Opposition from Kirol nagar, said, “Illegal parking is a major issue in my area. Auto Rickshaws illegally park on the road that has caused inconvenience for motorists. Vehicles are illegally parked on these roads for a long time. The ward officials rarely visit to toe such vehicles. Also, some roads have no street lights at all due to which there are anti-social elements like drunkards and drug addicts.”
The N ward also has some water-logging spots that witnesses minor flooding during monsoon. Areas like Pant Nagar and Vikrant circle in Ghatkopar are low-lying areas that are prone to water-logging.
The constituencies have been reduced to 11 from the previous 12 after the delimitation of wards.
Ward Watch – N
Pothole-filled roads- Infamously known for its road repair scam, the civic body has failed to maintain roads of the N ward as well. Tilak road, Vikrant circle, and Rajawadi have poor roads. Also, roads are being dug up for carrying out trenching work are not levelled appropriately which has added on to the issues.
Lack of toilets in slums- Slums situated on the hills at Ghatkopar (west) has lack of access to proper sanitation. The slum dwellers have to walk down for 15 minutes to reach the nearest public toilet. Basic civic amenities like public toilets and street lights are missing in these slum areas. Amrut Nagar and Vikhroli Park Side face such issues on a daily basis.