Mumbai: Marine Drive residents put up joint front to solve civic issues

All Marine Drive resident associations near the promenade have decided to form a common platform to address civic issues. The reason? The absence of a common forum has allowed authorities, such as the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Police, to take their woes for granted, says Nikhil Banker, secretary of Marine Drive Residents Action Group (MDRAG), who pushed for the initiative.

"The vicinity has been dealing with a lot of civic problems related to trespassing, hawkers and parking. Meanwhile, the coastal road project is also coming up. The best solution for residents is to create a common platform, where we can address these common problems together," Banker told the Free Press Journal on Monday. Churchgate, Marine Drive and Nariman Point have six to seven resident associations that take up civic issues and work in their own limited capacity.

"Representatives of as many as seven associations will be joining us in a meeting on Tuesday, where the agenda will be discussed and key points of the association will be drafted," Banker said.

Ashok Gupta, vice president of Marine Drive Citizens’ Association (MDCA), has said that some traffic signal posts at Marine Drive need to be relocated, as trees cover them. He added that they are going to make a collective appeal to raise the height of the divider at Marine Drive, as people are often seen crossing the road from there instead of using the zebra crossing. "There are multiple issues and these issues can be solved only after all the citizens come together at a common platform," asserted Gupta.

Ashok Rao, president of the Federation of Churchgate Residents, expressed his intention of forming a Marine Drive Council that would comprise these individual groups of resident association. "Vehicular movement should be made one way in the A,B and C roads that connect Marine Drive with Churchgate railway station," Rao said. "Problems related to hawkers and trespassing have not been solved despite the numerous complaints made by citizens. The tiles from the Marine Drive promenade are also falling out and need to be repaired at the earliest," he informed.

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