Mumbai: Lack of public toilets biggest concern in H/East Ward
A large part of the H-East ward is occupied by slums, where residents have to make do without drinking water or public toilets, despite fresh assurances before every election
Spread across an area of 18.53 square km, the H-East ward covers areas such as Santacruz East, Khar East and Bandra East. While there are quite a few posh neighbourhoods here, like Kalanagar and Kherwadi, this ward is also home to several slum pockets. So while H-East ward suffers many of the problems common to Mumbai — bad roads, encroached footpaths — one of the biggest problems here is the lack of public toilets, forcing many of the slum dwellers to answer nature’s call out in the open.
Waterlogging is a recurring problem in this ward every monsoon, and locals say this is because the drains are not cleaned properly
Toilet torment: One of the most important issues that haunt the residents of this ward is the lack of pubic toilets, particularly in the slum areas. There are more than 15 slums in this ward and due to the lack of public toilets, many of them witness open defecation. In particular, it is the slums close to mangroves and the coast — like the shanties near Bandra government colony — that face the biggest hurdle when it comes to building toilets, as these areas fall under the coastal regulations. Because of this, constructing toilets or even resettlement or rehabilitation of the locals face challenges. Redevelopment of buildings is similarly affected.
Locals complained that roads are dug up frequently and, at some places, garbage has begun to collect in the trenches left behind by workers. Pics/Tehniyat Fatima
Drain debacle: With the monsoon nearly upon us, this issue takes centrestage. Locals are of the opinion that the ward still does not have a proper storm water drainage system in place. Locals allege that the Vakola Nullah and Mithi river, both of which pass through this ward, are not desilted properly, leading to flooding every monsoon, especially in Kalina, Agripada, Vakola, Valmiki Nagar, Bharat Nagar. Even when the nullahs are cleaned, there is no system to ensure that they do not get blocked again with garbage and silt.
Water woes: ‘Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink’ is a common refrain among the local residents in this ward. While this ward suffers from water logging ever year, there’s hardly any water in their taps, they complain. mid-day visited residents in Kherwadi and in the slums in Bharat Nagar, and a common complaint was about the lack of drinking water. Locals claim they have filed many complains with the ward office but nothing has changed.
Road rant: Local residents also complained that roads are dug up frequently for some or the other work, but once the project is over, the trenches are not filled in properly. What’s more, at some places, garbage has begun to collect in these trenches, emitting a foul stench and creating a health hazard for locals. Now that the BMC elections are approaching, repairworks have started in earnest, said locals, adding that they hoped the same speed would continue even after the polls are over. They are also demanding wider roads so that they don’t have to suffer daily traffic jams anymore.
We have water supply, but it is of no use. The pressure is so low that we still don’t get water.
I have been residing in this area for more than 10 years and have seen people making promises every election. But the water problem still prevails in our locality. Sometimes the water stinks.
Our corporator has fulfilled few promises like setting up streetlights and repairing a few potholes — this was the need of the hour
I am least interested in the upcoming election as even the promises made earlier are yet to be fulfilled.
In our ward, there is an immediate need for road widening. The narrow lanes and bad quality of roads put people’s life at risk.
I personally think only 30 per cent work has been done — potholes are yet to be repaired, water supply charges have been increased. I think the budget allotted to the BMC should be utilised well and within time
Jitendra Gupta Transport activist
One of the biggest issues in the H-East ward is the lack of community toilets, as this ward has many slum pockets. The corporators who have been elected should also work towards providing encroachment-free footpaths and good quality roads.
Areas: Santacruz East, Khar East and Bandra East, Vakola, Kherwadi, Kalanagar, MIG Colony, Bharat Nagar, Santacruz-Golibar, Teachers colony, Chaitanya Nagar
Ward numbers and corporators: 81 Snehal Suhas Shinde, 82 Sukhada Rahul Pawar, 83 Sunaina Sanjay Potnis, 84 Brian Francis Miranda, 85 Ilyas Bashir Shaikh, 86 Pooja Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, 87 Krishna Dhondu Parkar, 88 Deepak Ramchandra Bhutkar, 89 Anil Pandurang Trimbakkar, 90 Priyatama Sharadkumar Sawant, 91 Gulistan Ahrar Ahmed Shaikh
Area: 18.53 sq km
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