Encroachment a massive hurdle in development projects

Updated: Jan 21, 2020, 07:31 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

It is often seen that the city administration reacts too late to stop any encroachment attempt, thus leading to massive drives to clean up those lands. This is not just a waste of time, but a waste of taxpayers' money and human resources too

The civic body's project to build missing road links across the city is highly commendable, and at the same time draws one's attention to rampant encroachment in the already congested financial hub of India. Encroachment has proved to be a major hurdle in the progress or even initiation of any development project.

A story on the front page of this paper stated that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will on priority construct eight of the 70 missing road links in the city, besides the ongoing projects of flyovers and roads. As BMC charts a plan to ascertain the amount of land that needs to be acquired for the project, there are certain places where they need to reclaim the encroached plots.

The report also highlighted a survey conducted by BMC, which mentions that by 2034 Mumbai's population reach close to 13.9 million. And about 8 million of them are expected to use the transport system daily. With year-on-year spike in population, there was a dire need for the BMC to step on the gas to boost the city's connectivity and scale up the development projects. And a well thought-out measure to address the traffic congestion in the city is very much welcomed.

But, there is another concerning matter that needs immediate attention too. How and why the encroachments are allowed to crop up across city in the first place, and then multiply and flourish? Encroachment is not just illegal, but becomes a hurdle in development projects, which in turn causes immense inconvenience to the public.

It is often seen that the city administration reacts too late to stop any encroachment attempt, thus leading to massive drives to clean up those lands. This is not just a waste of time, but a waste of taxpayers' money and human resources too.

To speed up the process for construction of the remaining 62 missing road links, the BMC can start mapping the areas and gradually reclaiming encroached plots wherever it is needed. This will ensure speedy progress of the initiative, freeing Mumbaikars of stress caused by massive traffic jams. A city that has been choked with traffic mostly caused by lack of space needs as many public infrastructures as it can get.

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