Mumbai: 'A' Ward Witnesses Neglect And Chaos As Civic Woes Persist Unchecked

Mumbai: 'A' Ward Witnesses Neglect And Chaos As Civic Woes Persist Unchecked

The grievances from this neglected ward resonate loudly, exposing the appalling situation surrounding vital government institutions. Mantralaya, the nerve center of Maharashtra's government, is besieged by unauthorized food vendors and hawkers.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Monday, January 15, 2024, 09:34 PM IST
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Illegal eateries in front of Vidhan Bhavan | FPJ

Mumbai: In the heart of Mumbai, the historic 'A' Ward stands as a stark testament to the abysmal failure of civic administration, as starkly revealed by a recent exposé from The Free Press Journal. The exhaustive investigation brought to light the deplorable state of its streets, overrun by illegal food stalls and incessant encroachments by hawkers.

The grievances from this neglected ward resonate loudly, exposing the appalling situation surrounding vital government institutions. Mantralaya, the nerve center of Maharashtra's government, is besieged by unauthorized food vendors and hawkers.

Astonishingly, street-side cooking has become a routine sight, especially in the vicinity of Aakashwani MLA Hostel, the residence of Maharashtra's MLAs. Jeevan Bima Marg, the thoroughfare leading to Mantralaya, has devolved into a mere parking lot for politicians and officers.

Food stalls covering footpath

Food stalls covering footpath | FPJ

The bus stops at Mantralaya stand broken and rust-ridden, serving as pitiful seating for travelers who somehow endure the dilapidation. Even the headquarters of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, are not immune to the encroachment menace, with illicit activities exacerbating the prevailing chaos.

Bus stop at Mantralaya

Bus stop at Mantralaya | FPJ

Residents Voice Distress

Atul Kumar, President of the Nariman Point Churchgate Citizens Association (NPCCA), voiced his distress, declaring, "People languish on the streets with impunity. While we empathize with the homeless, the stark absence of civic administration is glaring. Makeshift huts obstruct thoroughfares, eateries operate without permissions, and some even transform public spaces into open-air toilets – a blatant disregard for public health and safety."

Shefali Kapadia, a resident of Nariman Point, echoed the sentiment of despair, lamenting, "Walking on roads and footpaths is now a distant memory. Illicit eateries, unplanned, unsightly bathrooms have infested every corner. People bathing on the streets in the morning, turning pyaus meant for drinking water into personal shower spaces – this is the sorry state of affairs in a ward that boasts UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The administration's failure to maintain even a semblance of dignity is truly disheartening."

Former Corporator Calls On Formation Of 'Decisive Policy'

On the other hand, former Bharatiya Janata Party corporator Makrand Narwekar, stated, "We are supposedly fortunate that A Ward is considered one of the 'best-kept.' We boast about public gardens built on what were once dumpyards. However, encroachment is a citywide plague, sparing no ward, including A. It's high time we contemplate raising standards. The BMC should muster the courage to make a decisive policy on Night Shelters. We are supposedly 'in the process' of establishing Night Shelters in our ward, a project supposedly months away from completion. Every ward must follow suit, for Night Shelters supposedly hold the key to resolving the relentless issue of encroachments."

As the 'A' Ward sinks deeper into chaos, the administration's inertia stands as a glaring indictment of their failure. The urgent need for intervention and reform looms large, demanding immediate attention to rescue this once-historic ward from its current state of neglect and decay.

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