Bandra East must tame the encroachment beast
Once the clean-up is done, it will require a huge effort to see that it stays that way and does not return to the chaos of old. Bandra East has a long way to go to match its Bandra West sibling
Call it the boomerang effect; months after civic action cleared slum dwellings from the east side of Bandra station for better traffic management, the encroachments are back. The slums, demolished earlier this year after a Bombay High Court order, have started springing up again.
While there is no clarity on whether or not this construction is legal, Western Railway officials said these slums could either be the residents who have approached the HC, or they could be opportunists who have staked claim while there is a status quo order on the civic body's demolition drive in the area.
While the legal battle goes on, Bandra station and the area around it need special attention. It is absolute chaos even as one descends from the station staircase to try and hail an autorickshaw or get into a bus to one's destination. Though this has been controlled to an extent, there are rickshaws that do not ply by meter, and pedestrians have to weave their way through vehicles to cross the road — it is an open invitation to disaster. The permanent rickshaw stand is housed underneath the infra, but commuters are literally accosted by rickshawallahs, as they try to exit the station.
There is also a huge amount of debris piled in the station vicinity, which make the surroundings absolutely filthy. This area will need great will and a humongous, coordinated effort by different agencies so that there is a semblance of order and cleanliness around the station. Once the clean-up is done, it will require a huge effort to see that it stays that way and does not return to the chaos of old. Bandra East has a long way to go to match its Bandra West sibling.
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