After the split of the largest P North ward (Malad), the BMC has started a process to bifurcate K - East (Vile Parle east, Andheri east, Jogeshwari east and Marol). Thus, the decade-old demand is expected to become reality in the next three months. However, a proposal to split L (Kurla, Saki Naka, Chunabhatti and Chandivli) awaits a final report of a committee that has suggested removing some wards of the L and merging it into M west (Chembur).
Details of situation
Among 24 administrative wards in Mumbai, P North, K East and L ward are the largest in population and size. Owing to the huge geographical area and population size, providing civic amenities, like water supply, sanitation and citizen services in this area has become a challenge. So, it was a long pending demand of the former corporators and locals to redraw the boundaries of these three wards. After a long wait of six years, the densely populated and biggest ward under the BMC jurisdiction, P-North, split into P east and P west and a new office was functional from October 2023.
The proposal to split the other largest K-East ward was approved by the administration last year. After bifurcation of the existing 15 corporators, seven will be in K-South and the remaining eight in K-North ward. A BMC market building has been identified in Poonam Nagar in Jogeshwari for setting up the new ward office for K-North ward on a temporary basis. The existing K-East administrative building will be used for both wards. "Three floors of these buildings will be reserved for the ward office. Currently, furniture and electrical work is underway and the office will be ready in the next three months. Also, new staff will be recruited for the new ward," said a senior civic official.
Similarly, 16 existing corporator wards of L were proposed to split into nine in L-North and seven were to be accommodated in L-South. "A panel appointed for the bifurcation has come up with a new proposal to reorganize the wards by removing some of the corporator wards and merging with another ward. This will save cost and time on creating a new establishment and infrastructure for the ward. The M-West ward has only seven corporator wards, while the M-East has about 15 corporator wards. Three corporator wards of L and two wards of M East are proposed to be removed and merged into M West. The decision will be taken after the panel submits its final report," said a senior civic official.
K East ward - population - more than 8.2 lakhs - geographical area - 16.8 sq km.
L ward - population of about 9 lakh....spread over 15.6 sq km.
Why is bifurcation needed?....
"K east ward is facing several problems such as the hawkers menace, illegal parking and potholes. It becomes difficult for officials to reach every corner of the ward and address the problem. The bifurcation will divide the work and hence we can focus on the limited area and ensure the work is completed on time."
- civic official.
"Since K east covers 15 corporator wards, it was inconvenient for the citizens to reach the ward to pay taxes, get certificates or other work. Also, it affected the basic amenities such as water supply, sanitation etc provided by the ward. So, we have been demanding the split of this ward since 2012. A budget of Rs. 10 crore has been sanctioned for the new office, but the work has been slowed down. So I doubt if it will be functional in the new financial year. "
- Anant Nar (former corporator)
Considering the population, the water supply has been the biggest issue in this ward. Potholes-ridden roads and heaps of garbage have also been another problem. After bifurcation, the new ward will get separate staff, so we hope the quality of work will improve.
- Godfrey Pimenta (activist from Andheri)
L ward has 16 existing corporator wards, so it is important to split it into two. It will ease the pressure on basic amenities divided in these wards and will also reduce the work pressure on the officials. Instead of that, the BMC has come up with a proposal to merge some of the wards into others. It won't lessen the problem.
- Anil Galgali - activist from Kurla