An intended scenic walkway along Mithi River and Vakola nullah, passing through Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), has turned into an open-air toilet and dumpyard. The project was part of a beautification drive along the two water bodies.

Construction debris is unloaded by trucks near the walkway along the Vakola nullah passing through BKC every day, say locals. It also endangers the mangroves nearby. Pic/Shadab Khan
Construction debris is unloaded by trucks near the walkway along the Vakola nullah passing through BKC every day, say locals. It also endangers the mangroves nearby. Pic/Shadab Khan

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) spent R9.8 crore to construct the walkway, along with a garden. along Mithi River and the Vakola nullah at BKC. While the garden is decently maintained, the rest of the project begs for attention.

Workers remove waste from the Mithi every day
Workers remove waste from the Mithi every day

A stretch of 200-300 metres along the Mithi at BKC, right behind MMRDA’s office, is being used by local slum dwellers as a toilet. People are often seen defecating and urinating on the walkway, which was built for morning and evening walks.

They then dump it right beside the walkway behind MMRDA’s office in BKC
They then dump it right beside the walkway behind MMRDA’s office in BKC

Naturally, no walkers use the path. During mid-day’s visit, we saw that silt and plastic waste removed from the river is dumped right beside the path. A watchman of a local housing society told this reporter that at night, the spot turns into a den for drug addicts and alcoholics.

Mud-spattered stretch
Things were no better along the nullah passing through BKC. We saw mud scattered everywhere and people using the stretch as a toilet, owing to the lack of public facilities. Also, dumpers were unloading construction debris along the road, near the mangroves. This poses a danger to the tree cover.

Moreover, an illegal approach road has been carved out connecting to the main BKC road, to enable trucks to go directly to the ‘dumping spot’. The trucks may also damage the walkway made of paver blocks. A local, on condition of anonymity, said this has been going on for more than a year. Local Shiv Sena MLA Prakash Bala Sawant has written to the MMRDA several times about the issue, but to no avail.