Mumbai : While Kurla and Bandra railway termini are in the news as unsafe after the Esther Anuhya case, no one is talking about the monorail terminus at Wadala Depot, which is equally remote and surrounded by slums.
The Wadala Depot is located between Bhakti Park and Sardar Nagar. Although the local police station is nearby, the place is not considered safe. There is a big slum connected to the RTO Road, which goes to Wadala Monorail station from GTB Nagar railway station.
This slum harbours many small gangs that loot people at night. However, after the monorail project started such incidents have decreased but the gangs are still active. Members of these gangs are youths aged 15 to 23 years.
The local police also plead helplessness. A police inspector of Wadala TT police station said on condition of anonymity, “ This is a very dangerous area. Men have been murdered here over Rs 10. I am a policeman, yet I never roam alone in this area.”
The area between Bhakti Park and Wadala Monorail station is deserted and scary at night. The place is full of lager louts after sunset. Locals avoid going alone in this area.
A man who sells vegetables near RTO Road and resides in MHADA Colony, just opposite to the slums, recounted one incident that happened last year with him. “ I went to visit my sister in Govandi. It was around 11.30 pm. I was returning from GTB Nagar walking towards my home. When I reached the bus stop of Rawli Camp, a group of four boys stopped me and without saying a word they started searching my pockets. When I protested, they assaulted me with a knife and asked me to hand over my belongings. I was frightened and handed over my money, watch and gold ring to them. Since then I never come walking from the station to home at night,” he said.
Everyone is talking about the monorail, but no one is concerned about the safety of the commuters, says a medicine seller, whose shop is located on RTO Road. “I remember 12 years ago when I opened my shop local criminals used to demand money everyday. I had no option because the police was helpless. The inspector in charge of the police station advised me to leave the place. But I stayed on. With the time and increasing population of the area, things have been changed now, but the area is still dangerous. At night, you can go to the railway station walking but at your own risk. Even the police will yell at you for moving around at night,” he said.