High-rises rub shoulders with crowded shops in G-South ward

Jun 06, 2016, 08:39 IST | Pallavi Smart and Silky Sharma

Posh residential complexes meet the crowded commercial areas in G-South ward, leaving no space to walk or breathe in Parel and Worli

Don't let G-South ward's high-rises fool you. The ward typifies the two worlds the city straddles - the fast-changing skyline comprising posh residential and commercial localities of Worli, Prabhadevi and Mahalaxmi, and the middle-class roots of Parel, Lalbaug, BDD Chawl and Worli gaothan. But scratch the veneer of 'sophistication' and you'll hit a raw nerve - unchecked real estate development, rising pollution, choc-a-block traffic, dug-up roads, open gutters and encroachments.

Roads in Parel and Worli are often dug up, and tend to stay that way for long. Pic/Datta KumbharRoads in Parel and Worli are often dug up, and tend to stay that way for long. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Main issues:
Rampant construction: Parel and its surrounding areas are seeing a rapid commercial growth, with one multi-storey building trying to overshadow another. But residents complain that adequate safety measures are not taken at all construction sites, leaving motorists and pedestrians at risk. With every new commercial venture vying for space in this space-starved ward, there is barely any breathing room left.

Rocky road: Roads in Parel and Worli are often dug up, and tend to stay that way for long. Commuters complain that traffic diversions made in such cases are poorly thought-out and a nightmare; even taxi drivers rue taking longer routes due to road works. Although many roads taken up for repairs are made one-way, often, motorists flout the rules, adding to the congestion and the confusion. Locals allege that barriers are seldom put around roads being redeveloped.

Open Drains: Several drains in the ward are left open, throwing up health hazards and a rat infestation. Manholes are either left uncovered or have uneven lids that barely do the job. Residents complaint that rats scurry out of such drains into houses and shops beside roads.

Locals speak

Pushpak Anand

Visits Currey Road often for work
The BMC should speed up this monorail track project to decongest traffic. Besides, there is a tall building being developed near the Currey Road bridge, which eats into a sizeable chunk of the road. Is the BMC even implementing adequate safety measures at such construction sites?

Pradeep Dhamapurkar

Shopkeeper near Currey Road bridge
This area has become so congested that no customer is keen on stopping by at the shop. This has affected my business a lot. Development works should be planned properly

Sujeet Nagmote
Resident of Parel
Anywhere you see, the roads are randomly dug up. The roads are under construction for a long time, disrupting the smooth flow of traffic. Many a time, such roads are one-ways or are shortcuts, but when they are dug up, one has to use a longer route to reach the destination. The road from the Bharatmata signal toward Ganesh gully had been dug up for the longest time. Road repairs are fine, but traffic diversion must be planned accordingly. Most of the time, you will see that the next best shorter route is also mostly dug up. Taking vehicles out in such scenarios is risky.

Chotu Khan

Taxi driver 
When roads are dug up, we have no option but to take longer routes, but then customers fell that we do this deliberately.

Anita Madalia

Resident of Worli 
Gutters and manholes are left open. Often, the lids of manholes are stolen or broken. Rats enter our shops and houses as we live beside the road.

Expert speak

Nikhil Desai, Civic activist
Construction work cannot be completely stopped or given on preference basis. But there are stringent rules for builders and developers to follow. But developers conveniently ignore these rules while BMC officials do not say anything after taking bribes from them.

BMC never plans properly for the entire year. The road constructions only come up when BMC has to complete its budget or at the end of the year, when it needs to show work done. Also, BMC has no standard covers for gutter holes. There is no routine check-up on what is damaged and if one complains, it will be reported to head-office to order another cover. Mostly, covers of the correct size are not available because BMC never has stock.

Ahead of the 2017 BMC polls, mid-day presents a 48-week initiative for citizens to raise their neighbourhood concerns. You and your corporator are now face-to-face in the Big Civic Battle

If you wish to highlight an issue troubling your ward, write to us at bmcpolls@mid-day.com

G-South Ward
Parel, Worli, Worli Gaothan, BDD Chawl, Mahalaxmi Race Course, Prabhadevi, Gandhi Nagar and Arthur Road Prison

Ward numbers and corporators:
186 Seema Shivalkar
187 Santosh Dhuri
188 Hemangi Worlikar
189 Mansi Dalvi
190 Hemlata Wange
191 Kishori Pednekar
192 Ratna Mahale
193 Sunil Ahir
194 Snehal Ambekar

Area: 10 sq km

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