Whether it’s in the posher areas or in the slum pockets of this ward, local residents are losing sleep over these long-standing issues and official apathy
H/West ward is a microcosm of Mumbai, with its mixed bag of inhabitants. The ward consists of tony areas like Bandstand (home to Shah Rukh Khan and other celebrities) as well as the fishing village of Khar Danda. But not all is hunky dory in the Queen of suburbs. Bad roads, encroachments, water leakages, bad sewerage links, poor connectivity, traffic, illegal construction, water contamination are issues that plague this area.
This ward has quite a few reputed churches, colleges, hospitals and restaurants that draw people from across the city. While parts of the ward have been traditional Christian localities, others are predominantly Muslim - local corporators represent these demographics. But there are a few problems peculiar to this ward.
Restaurant ruckus: People from across the city are drawn to Bandra for the sheer number and variety of restaurants there, but for the local residents this has turned into a big headache. Some restaurants make alterations to the structure illegally, and most have some sort of outdoor seating. Residents often suffer sleepless nights as they can hear patrons drinking and revelling into the wee hours. Locals have written to several authorities about this menace, to no avail. The municipal commissioner even directed ward officials to take action on encroachments, but the issue returned once again.
Locals from the Khar Danda slums allege that scrap shops have become a haven for mosquitoes and anti-social elements. Pic/Sameer Markande
Mosquito menace: The slum dwellers of Khar Danda aren’t getting much sleep either, due to mosquito infestation. Locals complain that there are several scrap dealers who have set up shop near their slums illegally. This allows mosquitoes to breed and thrive, leading to diseases like dengue and malaria during the monsoon. Locals allege that the scrap dealers have political clout and that is why ward officials turn a blind eye to their operations.
Waste woes: Residents in the posher parts of Bandra have fewer worries but are nevertheless miffed about the BMC’s apathy towards waste segregation, particularly in light of the recent fire disaster at the Deonar dumping ground. Residents said that although they dutifully separate all the dry and wet waste, the BMC does not collect them separately, as it is supposed to do. Waste disposal is already a problem for the entire city, with the dumping grounds being filled over their maximum capacity. Locals also pointed out that trimmed tree branches also remain lying on the roadside, as they are not picked up by the waste collectors.
Resident of Bandra Reclamation
Ours is a predominantly residential area, but a lot of bars and restaurants have come up on the ground floors of several buildings. Most of these establishments have illegal additions and alterations done. The patrons sometimes drink out in the open and get into brawls. Nothing has been done about it.
Resident of Khar Danda slums
There are several illegal scrap dealers abutting our slum. This becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes. During monsoon, the number of dengue, malaria cases rises tremendously. But officials don't take action.
Resident of Carter Road
In my housing society, people are environmentally conscious and segregate the dry and wet waste in separate bins. The BMC is supposed to send trucks twice a week specifically for dry waste but it doesn’t. Then how can it blame citizens for the Deonar mishap?
Resident of Bandra Reclamation
A High Court order clearly states that no bars are allowed in residential areas. We have been fighting this menace for almost six years, but these bars operate unabated. The police get bribes from them. The land is owned by MHADA and ONGC has staff quarters nearby but neither are doing anything about it. We have now complained to the ward office.
Resident of Khar Danda
Since scrap dealers started operating in our area, two to three people have died of dengue. The land actually belongs to the Koli community, who gave it out to these scrap dealers. The area has become a den for drug peddlers who consume drugs in these scrap shops.
Robin Nath Member of the Bandra Bandstand Residents Trust The queen of suburbs suffers from long standing problems. Promises made in the last election are yet to be fulfilled, he alleged. What is shocking is that the drainage lines in the area are so faulty that sewage spills out on the promenade. I don’t know if the slope is not correct or there is a problem with the pipes, but the sewage water spills out on our promenade at Bandstand. This is a tourist spot and so many international tourists come here but the local corporator can’t fix this? Last time, the then corporator had promised to get it done before the Assembly elections in which he was contesting. He lost and everything was forgotten.
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Linking Road, Hill Road, Carter Road, Bandra Fort, Lilavati Hospital, National College, Union Park, Pali market, Pali Hill, Khar Danda and Santacruz West.
Ward numbers and corporators:
97 Tanveer Patel,
96 Karen D’Mello,
95 Asif Zakaria,
94 Sunita Warekar, 93 Alka Kerkar,
92 Geeta Chavan
Population: 4.21 lakh
Area: 11.55 sqkm