Mumbai: From stars to slum dwellers, locals don't get the basics at K-West ward
Several celebrities call this ward home, living in plush apartments in posh localities such as Versova and Lokhandwala. But K-West is also home to thousands of slum dwellers in shantytowns across Juhu Galli, Adarsh Nagar, Pathan Wadi, Aaram Nagar, and near Versova beach.
A mound of garbage sits in front of fruit and vegetable vendors at Four bungalows, posing a health hazard for everyone. Pics/Tehniyat Fatima
No matter who they are and where they live, the residents all complain that they don’t get basic rights such as safe footpaths to walk on, or even clean surroundings and water. Citizens on this side of town are not too hopeful that things will change in this election either, with many claiming that politicians only turn up before the polls to make promises but never end up making good on them.
Subhash Ghai takes part in a cleanliness drive at Versova beach yesterday. Pic/PTI
This ward is blessed with the Metro, so many residents are spared a back-breaking commute by road. Those who do travel by road complain about potholes, waterlogging and long traffic jams. Even cleanliness is a major issue. Public toilets are few and far in between, and are ill-maintained. Slum residents suffer even greater neglect, and garbage vans don't even turn up to collect trash regularly.
Trash town: Cleanliness, or the lack of it, has been a long-standing issue here. Mounds of rotting garbage can be seen everywhere - on the roadsides, near the fruit and vegetable market, near houses. This is particularly rampant near Manish market and SNDT. Residents said that even though they are unhappy about it, they frequently litter as well, simply because there aren't enough dustbins and dumpsters. At some spots, dumpsters are either broken or don't have lids, leading to rubbish spilling out on the roads, inviting health issues to the locality.
Water woes: With the water cut now at an end, the ward gets an adequate supply of water. The issue is that much of this water is not potable. Residents from the SNDT university area told mid-day that the first few buckets of water often have to be thrown away as the water is murky and has a strong, pungent stench.
Pedestrian problems: For residents of this ward, one of the biggest complaints is the utter lack of footpaths. In many places, the pavements are properly built. The few decent footpaths are encroached upon by hawkers and illegal parking. Pedestrians are forced to walk on the streets because of this, and it has led to many an accident in the past.
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Sandip Soparrkar, Choreographer and Juhu resident
One of the main issues is how unclean Juhu beach is. In order to beautify the area, the BMC has come up with various small gardens there, but they are not maintained. There has to be proper follow-up; simply constructing new facilities is not the solution.
Shakti Ranpura, 4 Bungalows resident
There are no proper footpaths for people to walk on. The open gutters pose further danger to unsuspecting pedestrians.
Amit Kapate, DN Nagar resident
The road leading to Andheri station from Juhu Circle, and the one leading to Juhu beach, is always jam-packed due to numerous potholes on the stretch that are only temporarily repaired.
Nikita Behl, Versova resident
There are uncovered nullahs everywhere, every time you can see BMC people digging the road for some work which creates lots of problem. Lanes are very narrow.
Deepak Singh, 4 Bungalows resident
Hygiene is an issue; sometimes we get muddy water supply for the first few minutes. And there are very few garbage bins available to throw garbage.
Kuber Waghle, Versova resident
There are no proper roads and the situation is made worse by all the garbage thrown right on the streets.
Pranav Patole, Versova resident
There are no provisions of street light. Poles are being set but no streetlight has been provided. Garbage can be seen littered everywhere. Water supply is not an issue.
Areas: The areas in this ward include Lokhandwala, Amboli, JVPD, Vile Parle west, Oshiwara, 7 Bungalows, 4 Bungalows, DN Nagar, Versova
Ward numbers and corporators: 53 Changej Jamal Multani, 54 Raju Shripad Pednekar, 55 Jyostna Abhay Dighe, 56 Yashodhar Padmakar Phanse, 57 Devendra Shridhar Amberkar, 58 Jyoti Jitendra Sutar, 59 Vanita Kailash Marucha, 60 Sanjay Kashinath Pawar, 61 Mohsin Haji Haider, 62 Ameet Bhaskar Satam, 63 Dilip Ghanshyam Patel, 64 Bhavna Ameet Mangela, 65 Binita Mehul Vora
Population: 6.94 lakh (As per 2001 census)
Area: 23.28 sq km