Mumbai: Suresh Nagar Residents Demand Permanent Solution To Decades-Long Illegal Encroachments

Mumbai: Suresh Nagar Residents Demand Permanent Solution To Decades-Long Illegal Encroachments

Illegal construction extends pavements by 5ft, obstructs pathways for pedestrians; complaints to ward officer and police yield temporary relief; authorities working to prevent encroachments from causing further inconvenience to people

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Saturday, February 03, 2024, 12:11 AM IST
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In a longstanding issue that has gripped the K West ward of Suresh Nagar near Andheri RTO, illegal encroachments have become a source of contention for both residents and authorities. The problem, persisting for more than two decades, centres around the Kamladevi School in Andheri, surrounded by houses accused of unauthorised expansion onto pavements.

Concerns arise over encroachments

Residents of Maratha Housing Society voice their concerns, highlighting the illegal construction that not only extends pavements by 5ft but also obstructs pathways for pedestrians and makes vehicular movement challenging, parking illegal vehicles and keeping plants on roads. Complaints to the K West ward officer and Mumbai police have yielded only temporary solutions, with residents emphasising the need for permanent action.

A Lakshmi Nagar resident exposes the cyclical nature of the issue, asserting that the BMC’s interventions are short-lived. Suspicions arise regarding the use of free electricity by encroachers who, despite owning flats in SRA buildings, allegedly lease them out while residing on the streets.

Resident of an encroachment voices woes

Amidst the allegations, a resident from one of the encroached houses, Prashant, sheds light on the dire living conditions, stating, “We don’t have water supply, nor electricity, no toilets. We just need a place to live, and all we are demanding is our deserved land.” Another resident, Virendra Singh, claims promises made in 1997 under the Suresh Nagar SRA scheme remain unfulfilled, with their names mysteriously absent from eligibility lists despite possessing valid documents.

Former local corporator Yogiraj Dabhadkar acknowledges repeated attempts to address the issue during his tenure, expressing the need for a permanent solution from the BMC. However, he notes the challenges in integrating these encroachments into completed projects.

Assistant Commissioner of the K West ward, Prithviraj Chouhan, reassures the public of ongoing efforts against encroachments. He emphasises the need for the SRA to intervene, given the claim that the encroachments are part of the Suresh Nagar SRA scheme. Chouhan asserts that, with the assistance of local police, the authorities are working to prevent encroachments from causing further inconvenience to the community.

A resident of Ekta Federation criticises the civic body for lacking control over various issues, including double parking, illegal structures, RTO stalls, eateries, and late-night parties on the road.

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