K-East ward: Locals put up with too much water on roads, not enough at home

Jul 04, 2016, 19:49 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav and Neha Tripathi

While they suffer from a dearth of drinking water at home, residents of Andheri East are forced to trudge through an excess of water on the roads due to shoddy upkeep of drains

Spread across a vast 28 sq km in Andheri East, the K-East ward is home to corporate offices, residential colonies and slum pockets. But what marks this ward apart is the fact that it is a catchment area for the Mithi river — a feature that often turns into a bane for local residents who have to put up with frequent waterlogging.

Waterlogging worries: This ward has 17 major nullas and 30 minor nullas, and keeping them clean and desilted has been one of the biggest challenges for the BMC. Locals, however, feel that the authorities are carrying out this crucial duty properly, leading to waterlogging in several areas, like Pump House near Western Express Highway, near the east side of the Andheri station and Shanti nagar near Mahakali Caves Road. Many are of the opinion that the storm water drainage system needs to be improved to solve this problem.

Stalls and hawkers encroach upon the footpath outside Jogeshwari station (east side), forcing pedestrians to walk on the road. Pics/Nimesh Dave
Stalls and hawkers encroach upon the footpath outside Jogeshwari station (east side), forcing pedestrians to walk on the road. Pics/Nimesh Dave

Water woes: While locals have to deal with an excess of water pooling on the roads, at home, it's the complete opposite. One of their major complaints is that they simply do not get enough water. Although water supply is regular, the pressure is not adequate, making it difficult for them to fill enough of it within the fixed time, particularly in slum pockets at Meghwadi, Marol, Chimatpada near Marol, Subhash Nagar near Mahakali.

Vehicles plough through the waterlogged stretch under the Western Express Highway Metro station
Vehicles plough through the waterlogged stretch under the Western Express Highway Metro station

Commuter concerns: There are a total of 63 major roads and 242 minor roads in this ward, and every year, their condition goes from bad to worse, particularly in the monsoon. While concretisation work is underway at many places, internal roads in areas like Gundawli, Marol Police Camp, the Ismail Yusuf College area, Mograpada, Poonam Nagar, are in a pretty bad condition. Pedestrians have their own share of problems, with rampant encroachment on footpaths outside the Andheri, Jogeshwari and Vile Parle railway stations. Pavements at Marol, JB Nagar, Sahar Village, Chakala and Poonam Nagar are similarly encroached.

Toilet troubles: With several slum pockets at Gundawli, Mahakali Caves, Subhash Nagar, Shanti Nagar, Marol pipeline, Chakala, Pump House and Sahar, one of the major problems in this ward is the lack of public toilets, leading to open defecation. Locals living in these slum pockets want more community toilets to be constructed and also demand that the existing ones be maintained better.

Experts speak

Godfrey Pimenta, Member of Watchdog Foundation
The entire stretch from Andheri station to Sakinaka is riddled with potholes and uneven paver blocks. Hawkers have virtually seized every possible open area, forcing pedestrians to walk on the street. Even there, illegal parking of vehicles is rampant. In several areas, the garbage has piled up. Illegal construction is rampant particularly western express Highway where the slums have reached three to four storeys.

Aziz Amreliwala, Civic activist
Many restaurants are running without health licence and are using the open space outside for cooking with gas cylinders — a major safety risk. Encroachment on Marol-Maroshi road is another major issue. Despite repeated complaints, there is no solution to this problem, which causes inconvenience to commuters using the road.

Residents speak

Rahul Mishra, Mahakali Caves resident
Due to cattle being left loose on roads, there is a lot of traffic and potential for accidents in the Mahakali caves area. Toilets are also very few in number, so people defecate in the open. There is not a single BMC multi-specialty hospital in our ward; those in need of emergency treatment are moved to Cooper Hospital.

Anand Padaichi, Gundawli resident
The most important issue is that of water. We get water, but the pressure is low because of which we are able to fill less water. Also, the footpaths outside Andheri station in are encroached leaving no space to walk.

Kunal Chaudhari, JB Nagar resident
I have been staying in this area for more than 20 years now, and the major problems we face are the pothole-ridden roads and waterlogging due to improper cleaning of nullhas.

Sachin H, Mahakali caves resident
Rather than repairing the potholes that keep reappearing, the BMC should make all internal roads with concrete so that they have a longer life. Because of the slope on JVLR, there is also waterlogging near the Seepz signal — this issue needs to be addressed by building a proper drainage system along the road.

K-East Ward

Areas: Marol police camp, Bhiwandi Nagar, MIDC, Seepz, Greenfields, Poonam Nagar, Mahakali caves, JB Nagar, Takshila, Sariput nagar, Subhash Nagar, Marol MIDC, Sahar gaon, Gundawli, Malpa Dongri, Pump house, Parsi Punchyat, Kajuwadi, Marol

Ward numbers and corporators: 66 Ujjwala Shrikrushna Modak, 67 Manjiri Gurunath Parab, 68 Anant Bhiku Nar, 69 Shivani Shailesh Parab, 70 Bhalchandra Gangaram Aambure, 71 Sandhya Sunil Yadav, 72 Sunita Janardan Elawadekar, 73 Kesarben Murji Patel, 74 Pramod Pandurang Sawant, 75 Sushama Kamlesh Rai, 76 Smita Subhash Sawant, 77 Vinnifred Baptist D’souza, 78 Manisha Manohar Panchal, 79 Shubhada Shashikant Patkar, 80 Jyoti Parag Alavani.

Population: 8,06,360

Area: 28 sq km

Ahead of the 2017 BMC polls, mid-day presents a 48-week initiative for citizens to raise their neighbourhood concerns. If you wish to highlight an issue, write to us at bmcpolls@mid-day.com

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