Mumbai: Despite having 16 sitting councillors in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s P north ward (Malad, Malvani and Dindoshi) which is the largest ward of the 24 municipal wards of the city, the ward still strives to solve some of its major issues. The residents of the ward allege that councillors had made tall claims of working for the slums before the elections but failed to do so.
The ward has more than 60 percent of slum population with areas like Bhadran Nagar, Aksa, Manori, Dindoshi and Malvani Zoheb Shaikh, a resident of Malad, said, “Our area has one of the largest slums in the city and issues like poor roads, water contamination and no street lights have posed a major problem for residents. Councillors made promises of solving these issues but failed to make major changes in the area.”
The largest ward covers an area of 46.67sq km with a population of around 12 lakh. Residents of the Malvani slum complain that the area has a garbage disposal problem. Shaikh added, “There are inadequacies of dustbins in the area because of which the residents throw waste on the road which creates further problem. Also, Garbage trucks don’t visit frequently that gives rise to health problems in the area.”
Traffic congestion and water contamination are also one of the major problems of the ward. Narrow lanes, illegal encroachment on roads have added to the existing traffic woes. Gyanmurthi Sharma, Bhartiya Janata Party Corporator, said, “The ward officials have not bothered to widen narrow lanes and bottlenecks. During peak hours, these roads witness traffic congestion because of which motorists are stuck at the bottlenecks for hours.”
Sharma added, “The utility agencies start digging up roads that are already congested that escalates the traffic issues. Also, while digging up roads the utility agencies damage water pipelines that creates water contamination. Several slum dwellers have complained to me it.”
Councillors allege that lack of coordination between civic officials and the Public Works Department (PWD) has led to the poor condition of roads. Rupali Raorane, Nationalist Congress Party Corporator, told the Free Press Journal, “There is a lack of coordination between civic officials and the PWD officials because of which the road widening or resurfacing projects are stalled. Also, some of the roads in Kokani pada are still filled with potholes.”
Garbage Disposal Problem- The P north ward has more than 60 percent of slum population. The slum dwellers in the largest ward allege that BMC’s garbage trucks do not frequently visit their areas because of which the residents throw waste on the roads causing more health problems.
Water Contamination- As several utility agencies carry out their trenching work on roads, most of the times they damage the water pipelines that are running under the road. Because of this, the waste particles around the damaged area enter the pipeline and cause water contamination.