The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has failed to keep a strict vigil on activities taking place right under the Metro corridor. It has been observed that shanties have come up on the flower beds and footpaths under the Metro corridor at the Indian Oil Junction in Andheri (W).
On Wednesday when MiD DAY visited the Indian Oil junction we saw many homeless families residing in the middle of the road as well as the footpaths. A resident of the area requesting anonymity said, “We have been facing this problem for a long time. At times we have also brought the issue of people staying on the footpaths to the notice of the civic authorities, but till date no action has been taken. In the night, sometimes we see drug addicts sitting on the footpath.
The officials concerned should take serious note of the same and rid the area of encroachments. If not, problems for motorists and locals will only increase.” A shopkeeper on condition of anonymity said, “A month ago a concerned federation had taken up the cause of the residents and asked those taking shelter under the Metro bridge to vacate the place, but to no avail.”
In April, MiD DAY had done a story (‘Where have all the flowers gone?’) on the issue. In the story, it had been pointed out that the median below the 11-km-long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro line was supposed to have a beautiful flowerbed. But four years after work began, the road is still being used as a dumping ground. As debris piles up, MMRDA and Mumbai Metro One authorities feign ignorance.
The other side
MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawatkar said, “We are not aware of any illegal encroachment at the Indian Oil Nagar junction. However, we will look into the issue and make sure that we remove them.”