BMC demolishes encroachments near Bandra station, slum dwellers angry
The BMC carried out demolition near Bandra station, to free the area of congestion and make it pedestrian-friendly, on July 3 and 4. About 100 illegal structures, such as hutments and parking sheds were demolished.
After the BMC demolished 100-odd illegal structures on the east side of Bandra station, slum dwellers have been sleeping on the debris of their homes to protect their belongings. Pics/ Atul Kamble
Motorists and pedestrians, who now have some breathing space on the congested road at Bandra station east, have the BMC to thank. With the help of cops, they have razed illegal encroachments along the station over the past two days. But the roofless residents are up in arms over the civic body's alleged heartlessness for rendering them homeless in the monsoon.
Homeless in Bandra
The BMC carried out the action, to free the area of congestion and make it pedestrian-friendly, on July 3 and 4. About 100 illegal structures, such as hutments and parking sheds were demolished.
Slums demolished near Bandra station
The slum dwellers though are not a happy bunch for having been left out in the cold (rain). One identified as Idris, who was living in a hut below the skywalk with his wife and two children for the past three years, lost his house and laundry shop. "The demolition squad did not even give us time to take our belongings. They crushed the whole structure. Both my children go to school, and so, I had to send them to a relative's house."
Another resident, Yaseen, said, "Even after requesting the officials (BMC and police), they took away my belongings and destroyed them. The civic body should have shown some humanity." Echoing similar thoughts, another resident said, "The demolition was not right as it violated a Supreme Court order, which states that there should be no action on any structure during the monsoon."
Widening the bottleneck
Civic officials, on the other hand, said it was long due. According to officials from H-east ward (Bandra East, Santacruz), after DCP (zone III) Anil Kumbhare prepared a plan to clear the encroachments that had been distrupting traffic and pedestrian movement, the ward's Assistant Municipal Commissioner Alka Sasane and other staffers led the demolition. A senior civic official said, "The action will prove to be a big relief for pedestrians and motorists frequenting the area. The encroachment had blocked the footpath, and illegal parking was being done in some spots. Now, the road from Bandra court to station is wide and free of the bottleneck."
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