mid-day campaign: Footpaths? What are those, ask angry pedestrians at Juhu, Vile Parle

Oct 09, 2018, 08:15 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Juhu, Vile Parle, Andheri are a nightmare for residents with completely encroached footpaths

mid-day campaign: Footpaths? What are those, ask angry pedestrians at Juhu, Vile Parle
Near DN Nagar Metro Station, Andheri West

With footpaths in the rest of Mumbai being taken over by cars, autos and bikes, why would those in Andheri East and West, Vile Parle and Juhu be any different. Despite hundreds of vehicles being added to the city's overburdened roads every day, the authorities have done precious little to provide alternatives for parking and turn a blind eye to rampant parking illegalities.

The Bombay High Court has been slamming the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for not allowing free access to pedestrians as was seen in its recent order that Ganeshotsav should not disturb pedestrian movement. And, if pandals were stopped from blocking footpaths, pedestrian movement blocked by parking goes unnoticed. The areas of Andheri East and West, Versova and Juhu are among the city's highly congested areas.

Near DN Nagar Metro Station, Andheri West
Residents in the area said vehicles parked on footpaths was a common sight and on weekends the footpaths become completely packed, leaving no space for pedestrians to walk. With the Metro Rail work going on near this footpath, one entire lane on the road is blocked, while another lane has auto-rickshaws lined up for customers. Residents are forced to walk in the remaining two lanes, dodging traffic.

Road leading to Versova
Road leading to Versova

Start walking from Seven Bungalows in Versova and you will be able to hit the footpath immediately. But, 100 metres away, it will have disappeared under parked vehicles. This is the same story along the Aram Nagar stretch going towards Versova.

Near Juhu Scheme
Near Juhu Scheme
Even upmarket Juhu has not escaped the menace of encroached footpaths. At the junction of Narsee Monjee Road and Fifth Road, vehicles are parked on footpaths, forcing pedestrians onto roads. Near Juhu Police station on VM Road, vehicles are illegally parked with abandon. Residents have been complaining for years now, but nothing has come of it. According to them, if such illegal activity cannot be tackled by the cops, then who can tackle it.

Service Road, WEH, near Andheri East Pump House
Service Road, WEH, near Andheri East Pump House
While one side of the footpath is taken over by auto-rickshaws, another has a garage on it where two-wheelers are parked haphazardly. The service road, which is already a narrow lane and is often used as an approach road to enter the areas of Andheri East, especially Pump House, Sher-E-Punjab and Mahakali, sees a major traffic jam during peak hours and auto-rickshaws parked on the footpaths only adds to the woes.

Service Road, WEH, near Andheri East Pump House

If pedestrians break rules, so can vehicles

Trupti Merchant
With reference to your reports on the parking on footpaths. The attached photo is taken outside Sardar Pavbhaji , Tardeo. This is the scene at any given time in the evening till late night. Customers parking their vehicles is the main hindrance to free flow walking space. When customers form a long queue, pedestrians have to walk between them and the parked bikes.

Parking

Sayed Jalal Jalali
With reference to your report, 'Here, Citizens can walk if bikes, hawkers allow it'. This campaign is discriminatory. If pedestrians can walk on and cross roads without following rules, one cannot see the objection to footpaths being used for parking. Cars/bikes are registered and taxes paid so they have every right to parking space, especially if pedestrians don't really want the footpaths, and there is no parking available on the roads. The photographs along with the report clearly show that motorbikes need the parking space, while there are just 1 or 2 pedestrians using the footpath.

Also Read: Mumbai: Orlem locals catch vehicles on the wrong side of the law

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