Mumbai: The plans to divide Mumbai’s P-North ward – comprising Malad East and West and some parts of Kandivali – into two sub wards for better administrative management seems to be on standstill. Sources said the delay is due to the upcoming civic elections scheduled to be held early next year.
Among the largest and most populated administrative wards in the city, P-North has 18 electoral wards with a population of over 10 lakh. During his speech, while presenting the civic budget 2021-22, BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal had said that the ward would be divided into P-East and P-West for the sake of citizens.
A provision of Rs 5 crore had been proposed in the budget for this bifurcation. The BMC had even claimed to have zeroed down on the location of the new ward office; however, the process seems to be stuck for now.
A BMC official said it has been initiated, but several technical issues need to be tackled, and the elections are also around the corner. Elaborating on the need for the split, the official said it is difficult to handle wards with such a vast geographical area and population, and that most of the offices in the suburbs are situated on the west side of the railway station that people from the east find difficult to access.
Proposed in 2017, the redrawing of administrative wards seeks to bring parity by having a minimum of eight electoral wards and a maximum of 11 in one administrative ward. There are 17 electoral wards/corporators in P-North, from Malwani in the west to Dindoshi and Kurar village in the east, covering 4,672 hectares and a population of 9.67 lakh.
The BMC aims to increase the total number of wards by 11 by bifurcating some of the larger wards like K-East (Andheri, Jogeshwari) and L-ward (Kurla, Sakinaka). BMC has similar plans to create a K-North ward for Jogeshwari, Goregaon East, Aarey Colony and scattered spots in Powai. The aim is to reduce the burden on the K-East ward, which is another densely populated ward.
BJP corporator from Kurar village, Vinod Mishra said a separate administrative ward for Malad East is immediately required. “People from as far as Manori and Kurar have to travel to the ward office in Malad West for every single civic issue,” he said. Agreeing, Pushpa Ramesh, a resident of Malad East said, “For residents of Malad East, it is not feasible to travel all the way to the ward office in Aadrash Nagar in Malad West.”