Where there's a will, there's a walkway

Malabar Hill residents split down the middle in Siri Road conversion tussle; two signature campaigns finding traction

Those objecting to the proposed conversion of SoBo's Chiranji Loyalka Marg or Siri Road walkway into a one-way motorable road, refuse to take their foot off the pedal in an aggressive awareness campaign that has been kicked off by both sides.

The amphitheater inside Kamala Nehru Park, which those objecting to the motorable road, say will be ruined. Lodha though, claims it will remain untouched. Pic/Swarali Purohit
The amphitheater inside Kamala Nehru Park, which those objecting to the motorable road, say will be ruined. Lodha though, claims it will remain untouched. Pic/Swarali Purohit

Arguing against the proposal on environment degradation grounds, one lot says the plan is hardly likely to ease traffic woes as suggested by MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha, who first mooted the idea. The Area Locality Management (ALM) of Little Gibbs Roads (1, 2 and 3) on Malabar Hill convened a meeting recently at the Acropolis building society office, to outline their plan ahead.

Corporator Anil Singh and founder secretary of The Little Gibbs Road ALM  Indrani Malkani. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Corporator Anil Singh and founder secretary of The Little Gibbs Road ALM  Indrani Malkani. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Indrani Malkani, founder-secretary of the ALM, presided over it and residents from adjoining buildings, who attended it said they were concerned about an ongoing signature campaign launched by Lodha, urging residents to support the conversion of Siri Road.

Malkani said, "Circulation of misinformation is rife. Firstly, people think the proposal is for a two-way road. And they aren't considering the ramifications on the environment, including the effect of hacking 200-year-old trees." Dismissing assurances that trees will be re-planted, the opposing residents raised fears of possible landslide.

Last week, Shaina N C, treasurer State BJP, came in to espouse support towards preserving Siri Road. She promised to facilitate a meeting with Maharashtra governor, C Vidyasagar Rao, so that locals could discuss their reservations. Corporator Anil Singh said the area was already designated as RG (Recreational Ground).

How could it be converted to RL (Road Line)? Singh claimed he will oppose the move, "tooth and nail." Those against the Siri Road conversion have started a signature campaign of their own. They stressed that this was not a 'counter attack but, "an effort to spread the correct facts and awareness." "Lodha has done good work in the past, so he enjoys blind support. This time, though, his facts are incorrect and coloured," said Malkani.

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