Mumbai: Dark stretch under monorail worries senior citizen, authorities unresponsive

Dr Surekha Kamath complained that the dark stretch from Shanti Nagar to Bhakti Park is a haven for miscreants, but did not get a favourable response from the authorities

If you fear the dark, a 1.5-km stretch from Shanti Nagar signal to Bhakti Park under the Monorail should not be part of your route to or from Wadala. And Dr Surekha Kamath’s request to resolve this issue has been falling on deaf ears for a long time now. A 69-year-old former anaesthesia professor at Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Kamath shifted to Wadala in 2008 but is now scared of stepping foot outside her place after 8 in the night.

The stretch becomes a hotspot for hooligans at night, which makes it even more dangerous. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
The stretch becomes a hotspot for hooligans at night, which makes it even more dangerous. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

Kamath’s niece Gauri took to Twitter to complain about this pitch-black route without street lights to Mumbai Police but got no response. Kamath confessed she almost cried after moving into her new apartment in BPT colony with her ailing mother due to this approach road and missed her house at King Circle.

The Adarsh Nagar bus stop that has been in shambles since ages, witnesses many hooligans after dark
The Adarsh Nagar bus stop that has been in shambles since ages, witnesses many hooligans after dark

“I have been invited for a number of seminars and conferences but while returning from there, I realised how dangerous this area is at night. The roads are pitch dark, with no shops or houses around, trucks parked on the entire lane and no place to walk. For me, and the thousand others staying in the same vicinity, it is a very dangerous stretch to pass,” said Kamath.

Dr Surekha Kamath
Dr Surekha Kamath

A disciplined Kamath goes for a walk every evening a little away from her place, but she never takes a cab there as she fears getting stranded on the dark, deserted road. “I have continued my evening walks and I take a bus both ways. But never have I delayed coming back beyond 8 pm or taken a taxi home. I would rather prefer staying back at my relatives’ place in King Circle,” added Kamath.

Gauri Kamath, Surekha’s niece, tweeted to the Mumbai Police on February 21 but got no reply
Gauri Kamath, Surekha’s niece, tweeted to the Mumbai Police on February 21 but got no reply

Other residents of the area told mid-day that the stretch also becomes a hotspot for hooligans at night, which makes it even more dangerous.

mid-day too, on its visit to the area, saw the road engulfed in darkness with no functioning lights. One of the hawkers in the area said the Adarsh Nagar bus stop, which has been in shambles since ages, witnesses many hooligans after dark.

“Not even taxis wait on this stretch once it’s dark. With absolutely no residential or commercial set-up there, the stretch is a haven for miscreants,” said Satyaprakash Dubey, the hawker.

Kamath’s niece even visited the BEST Undertaking’s Mazgaon depot but an engineer told her that every single time they tried to install bulbs and new cable wires, it was stolen in a matter of days.

“The divisional engineer of Mazgaon depot said there is not much hope even though proposals are in the pipeline and the department has filed four FIRs with the local police station about these thefts,” said Kamath.

BEST speak
A senior official from BEST’s street light department said they have accepted defeat when it comes to lighting this street. “We have filed four FIRs, over 50-60 NCs and have changed the cables over 48-50 times, but the issue is just out of our hands. We even tried locking the meter boxes and keeping live wires to keep the miscreants at bay but nothing seems to work. We have no clue who does it, but we can’t keep wasting public funds to buy cables over and over again, just for them to get stolen,” said the official.

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