While the BMC has demolished several illegal structures to decongest the area near the west side of Malad station, its P-south ward office is doing nothing to resolve a similar situation outside Goregaon station. Lack of space and noise pollution are two problems most commuters speak about.
Road is narrow and filled with illegal hawkers
Walking to Goregaon station from SV Road along Bandu Gore Marg is nothing short of a nightmare.
The road is extremely narrow, with illegal hawkers making it nearly impossible for commuters to walk. Both Bandu Gore Marg and Grampanchayat Road, which runs parallel to the station, are heavily encroached upon by hawkers in contempt of the Bombay High Court which has banned hawkers within 150 metres of railway stations.
Autorickshaws lack queue etiquette
Making the situation worse, shops and eateries have illegally extended by several feet, thereby reducing the road width. Autorickshaws, which have no queue system here, add to the congestion by halting their vehicles haphazardly.
Commuters complain that share rickshaws do not budge until they can run full capacity. The traffic police are quick to catch motorists driving without seat belts, but do not act against auto rickshaws, they complain.
Here's what Traffic Police say
Traffic police officer Jawant Pawar agreed that waiting rickshaws cause traffic snarls and said, “Even two-wheelers squeeze through the narrow gaps between the vehicles and the side of the road, leaving no space for people to walk.” When contacted, assistant municipal commissioner Rajesh Akare declined to comment.
More details and reactions
Founder of Goregaon Welfare Association, Nitesh Jadhav said that unauthorised rickshaw stands on these narrow roads have become a major nuisance. “There is no discipline among them, and they block the already congested streets,” he said.
The entire station road is packed with vegetable vendors, clothing and shoe stalls, food carts and other makeshift stalls selling toys, electronics and home accessories. They even pose health risks as there are no proper sanitation facilities and garbage disposal systems leading to build-up of waste.
Even as the president of Goregaon Pravasi Nagrik Sangh, Uday Chitale, called for a permanent solution, vendors alleged it’s an open secret that huge amounts of money changes hands between them and civic and police officials. One of them, who has been vending at the spot for four decades, said inspection results in temporary eviction but they occupy their spots when they leave.
Jadhav said they understand that street vendors need to earn a livelihood but they should be authorised to carry their business on wider roads where they don’t create traffic congestion.
Ex-corporator of Goregaon ward, Harsh Patel, said he has been sending letters to the BMC for the last six years urging it to regulate the situation vis-à-vis illegal share autos and the removal of hawkers but action has only been temporary.