The recently-opened Grant Road skywalk seems to be in the eye of the storm for all the wrong reasons. After mid-day reported how the structure is extremely inconvenient for commuters as they have to climb 60 steps every day (July 26 edition, 60-step climb makes Rs 43-crore South Mumbai skywalk useless), it’s now the turn of residents, living opposite the bridge, to bear the brunt. The Rs 43-crore skywalk, which connects Nana Chowk to Tardeo, Kemps Corner, Lamington Road, Girgaum Chowpatty and Opera House, has become a haven for roadside urchins, beggars and drug addicts.
Beggars, vendors and drug addicts have occupied the area near the Grant Road skywalk. File Photo
When this correspondent visited the structure on Friday evening, she found that beggars, vendors and drug addicts had occupied the area at various junctions, causing great nuisance to locals who reside in nearby buildings. “Beggars and drug addicts peep into our houses, as our flats are exactly opposite the skywalk.
If the television is on, then they clamour to watch it. They have been constantly invading our privacy,” said Jayesh Rajput, a resident of Abhyankar housing society that is located near the skywalk. This problem has been arising, as some portions of the structure have not been barricaded with metal sheets. Residents also allege that beggars and vendors carry out their daily ablutions on the skywalk.
“The beggars urinate on the bridge. It’s a very unpleasant sight as the flyover is just opposite our windows. Also, they keep fighting and use abusive language. This has a negative impact on our children,” claimed Amisha Jain, another resident of the society.
When contacted, MSRDC (Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation) executive engineer Anita Pardeshi said, “The police has been trying to evacuate the beggars and drug addicts from the skywalk but the addicts have tried to attack them. We are planning to take strict action so that residents are no longer troubled.”