BMC expands playground, leaves residents living around it stranded

Published: Nov 18, 2016, 18:50 IST | Laxman Singh and Samiullah Khan

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) move to expand a playground in Malwani has blocked the only road connectivity for residents living near Malvani Gate Number 7 at Malad

BMC expands playground, leaves residents living around it strandedThe expansion of this garden has blocked residents' access to the main road

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) move to expand a playground in Malwani has blocked the only road connectivity for residents living near Malvani Gate Number 7 at Malad.

The civic body’s move has pushed hundreds of locals into a 'death trap' as there is no proper access during emergency or disaster.

Malvani residents have alleged that two years back during the beautification of a recreational ground, Shibli Nomani Manoranjan Udyan, a road connecting to Star Welfare Society was encroached and closed by a boundary wall. It covered the ground from all sides. Social worker from Malvani, Rusda Mehta had written a letter to the P North (Malad) ward office regarding the issue.

Expressing concern over the absence of proper access, Mehta said, "Residents of Star Welfare Society told me that they were facing serious problems for over a year when the civic body forcibly closed the road. The same road is reserved under the Development Plan (13.6 metres). But, instead of constructing the road, civic officials included it inside the ground."

Now, the residents are totally dependent on another road passing through a church compound. However, the road is closed from 10pm to 6am, leaving residents stranded.

A copy of the complaint letter with mid-day states, "The illegal closure of the road has stranded residents every day after 10 pm to 6am as the road they are using right now is of the church. The Star Welfare Society has many children and senior citizens living there. If anybody falls ill it is very difficult to get them out of the premises immediately.

A resident, Riaz Talukdar, said, "Last year, a senior citizen had a severe chest pain in the night. We had to wake up the people in the church and convince them to open the gate. It has become a death trap and if such problem arises again, we will be helpless."

Riaz said, "We have sought details for the DP road under the Right to Information (RTI), which clearly shows that the blocked road is reserved in the new revised draft DP and acquire by the P North ward office. This is absolutely illegal and even after several complaints, authorities have not taken any action."

Despite repeated calls and messages, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, (P-North) ward, Sangita Hasnale, was unavailable for comment. Jagdish Jantye from the DP department in P North ward, could not be reached for comment.

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