Mumbai: Aarey Colony's internal roads open to motorists again

The new CEO of Aarey Colony has revoked the ban on private vehicles, opening up the internal roads to motorists looking to dodge peak hour traffic; locals fear rash driving cases will rise

The barricade has already been removed from the spot
The barricade has already been removed from the spot

Less than a fortnight after taking charge as the new CEO of Aarey Colony, Nathu Rathod has reversed one of the key decisions made by his predecessor — private vehicles will once again be permitted to ply on Aarey’s internal roads.

As mid-day had reported in 2015, the former CEO Gajanan Raut had barred entry to private vehicles to prevent multiple menaces such as speeding, rash driving, and continuous honking. In addition, these vehicles were also a great threat to the wildlife that live in the forested patches of Aarey and would often become roadkill while crossing the road (‘Aarey authorities devise new formula to stop road kill’, December 22, 2015).

Many snakes have been killed the same way, and around four years ago, a leopard cub was also died after it was knocked down by a speeding car near New Zealand hostel.

There was a lot of opposition to the move from motorists who lived outside Aarey but often used this route to cut through the peak hour traffic while travelling from Goregaon to Powai and Marol or back. The CEO posted two security guards near the barricade, to ensure that only local residents were allowed in.

“Till the time Mr Raut was holding the charge of CEO, the internal roads in Aarey were completely closed to private traffic, which was a really good decision as it prevented rash driving and also reduced the number of wildlife accidents. But, last week, I was shocked to see that there was no barricade present near Aarey hospital to block the entry of vehicles. Once again, motorists can be seen speeding, which is a danger not just to animals but also the morning and evening walkers and local residents who use this road” said Rahul Mishra, a regular visitor to Aarey.

CEO says
Aarey CEO Nathu Rathod said, “I too have witnessed that there are many motorists who are using the internal road and I will look into the same and discuss it with concerned authorities after which I will be in a better position to comment.”

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