T Ward covers one of the city’s fastest growing suburbs - Mulund. More than 70% of the ward comprises residential complexes, and new buildings are coming up there on a regular basis. The remaining area is covered by vast slum dwellings concentrated near the boundary of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. However, the infrastructure and civic amenities in Mulund have not matched pace with the growth in the housing sector, leading to several issues for the 5.1 lakh residents. Here are some of Mulund’s growing pains

Just last month, a major fire broke out at the Mulund landfill, casting a blanket of smoke over the suburb. The dumping ground was supposed to be shut down a long time ago, but continues to operate over its maximum capacity. File pic/Sameer Markande
Just last month, a major fire broke out at the Mulund landfill, casting a blanket of smoke over the suburb. The dumping ground was supposed to be shut down a long time ago, but continues to operate over its maximum capacity. File pic/Sameer Markande

Main Issues

Dumpyard Disaster: The Mulund dumping ground has left citizens gasping for breath, not just because of the horrid stench, but also because of frequent fires breaking out over there, enveloping large swathes of the city in thick smoke. While the Deonar dump yard has been in the news because of disastrous fires that lasted for days, the situation is no better at the Mulund dumping ground, especially for the residents of Hariom Nagar, who live barely 100 metres from there.

The Mulund landfill was supposed to be shut down, but continues to operate over its maximum capacity. As recently as last month, there was a major fire at the dumpsite, but it wasn’t just local residents who suffered - there was a blanket of smoke all the way up to Airoli, leading to complaints of shortness of breath, asthma, itchy skin and other ailments.

Footpath Fail: Not a single footpath is left for pedestrians in either East or West Mulund. Most have been encroached upon by hawkers and shops with illegal extensions, while other pavements are blocked with construction material or other debris. Residents are forced to walk on the roads instead, navigating the heavy traffic and the haphazardly parked vehicles.

Playground Problem: While there are quite a few playgrounds in Mulund, they are not maintained properly. More often than not, they are encroached upon and used to park vehicles. Other parks and recreational grounds have become a haven for anti-social elements like drug addicts and vandals. The few parks that are being maintained still lack basic facilities like toilets, making them inconvenient for kids and senior citizens.