Compromise formula needed to revive choked Kurla road

Aug 23, 2012, 07:33 IST | Samarth Moray

Following MiD DAY reports on illegally parked generator vans, Bombay High Court suggests traffic department may turn area into no-parking zone or only allow small vehicles

The senior police inspector (traffic) at Kurla on Wednesday filed his affidavit in Bombay High Court, claiming the zonal ACPs and DCPs regularly patrolled Buntara Bhavan Marg to ensure no vehicles obstructed it. Additional public prosecutor AS Pai also submitted to the court that the area did not fall in a no-parking zone.

Generator vans parked on Buntara Bhavan Marg.
Tight spot: The generator vans parked on Buntara Bhavan Marg. File pic

On July 10, MiD DAY had reported (‘Generator vans spark traffic nightmare’) that over 150 vehicles, mostly generator vans, were parked in the area, causing serious inconvenience to locals. The locality has an old age home, a school, a college and a women’s hostel. On August 8, the HC had asked for an affidavit from the senior inspector (traffic) of the area, detailing what steps his department has taken to deal with the menace (‘High Court raps traffic police over illegally parked generator vans’, Aug 9, MiD DAY).

The MiD DAY reports on July 10 and August 9, 2012
The MiD DAY reports on July 10 and August 9, 2012

The affidavit, presented by Pai to the court, also denied that any women in the area were being harassed or teased by the generator van workers. It also stated that the traffic department had received a communication from BEST this month that claimed their buses no longer had any trouble manoeuvring in the vicinity. The claim was countered by advocate Pradeep Hanur representing petitioner Lata Shetty, president of Bunts Mahila Sangha, who presented photographs of the area taken on Wednesday morning, where the generator vans were still clearly visible.

Best-laid plan
A division bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and AR Joshi orally suggested that the entire road be made a no-parking zone. “Alternatively, why can’t you have restricted parking, for only small vehicles? You know the ground realities, and you have to decide how best to resolve the problem and bring about an amicable solution,” said justice Khanwilkar. The case has now been adjourned for two weeks so the traffic department can work out a compromise.

On August 25, 2010, three generator van operators — Sayed Ali of SM Film Power Equipment, Vajid Ali Siddiqui of RV Trans Power and Sayed Meere of Generator on Hire Equipment — had given an undertaking to Bombay High Court saying they would not park any generator vans on Buntara Bhavan Marg. However, these promises were soon broken.

The situation had deteriorated to such an extent that BEST warned the traffic department in a letter dated April 2, 2012 that route 610 between Buntara Bhavan and Kurla station would have to be cancelled if the problem was not addressed. The bus is the only one that services the area.  

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