Mumbai News: Andheri RTO Or Garbage Dump? Residents Of K West Ward Raise Concerns Over Encroachments At Civic Premises

Mumbai News: Andheri RTO Or Garbage Dump? Residents Of K West Ward Raise Concerns Over Encroachments At Civic Premises

Andheri RTO ground turns nightmare for residents as encroachment and illegal activities continue unabated.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 08:55 AM IST
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FPJ

Mumbai: In the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, the residents of ward K-West find themselves in the grip of an escalating crisis, battling against the onslaught of encroachment and illegal activities that plague their daily lives.

Despite relentless complaints, the citizens face deteriorating air quality, pavements obstructed by makeshift huts, and the unchecked proliferation of illegal eateries.

Incessant dumping goes unabated

One glaring example of this malaise is an open ground spanning five acres in Andheri’s Suresh Nagar, strategically located in the jurisdiction of the Regional Transport Office (RTO). This plot, dedicated for motor tests, lies desolate and abandoned, serving as a dumping ground for discarded vehicle parts, scrap material and tyres. The dire consequence of this neglect manifests in the early morning haze, as burning tyres and plastic release harmful gases, posing serious health and security concerns for the residents of Ekta Association CHS.

Jayashree Pitale, a frustrated resident of Vatsalya CHS, said that their pleas for intervention have fallen on deaf ears. The RTO’s testing area, meant for public welfare, has been overrun by slums. The place that once housed the old RTO and its canteen is now a haven for antisocial activities, with people openly bathing, gambling, and consuming alcohol. Our complaints to cops, RTO and BMC have yielded no response.”

The fallout extends to the surrounding buildings, as drinking water tanks are besieged by mountains of garbage, fostering a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Locals live in fear of diseases like dengue and malaria, as the area grapples with unchecked garbage disposal.

Andheri RTO Or Garbage Dump?

Andheri RTO Or Garbage Dump? | FPJ

Other problems add to woes

Senior citizens from Ekta Federation also highlighted double parking and illegal vehicle stalls, a battle they claim to have waged for the past 15 years. In a startling revelation, it was noted that the RTO seemed willing to surrender the land to the encroachers but was reluctant to install CCTV cameras.

Former local corporator Yogiraj Dabhadkar of the BJP squarely placed the responsibility on the traffic department. Acknowledging the problem, RTO officer Ashok Pawar said, “We have repeatedly alerted the local police and BMC ward office about the encroachment. Despite facing challenges, we have taken action, including attempting to install barricades and seeking additional security personnel and CCTVs.” As the residents continue their uphill battle, the question of accountability echoes unanswered.

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