mid-day campaign: New parking spaces in Borivli... on footpaths
Along the entire stretch of New Link Road in Borivli, hawkers, showrooms and even residents contribute towards the problem of vanishing footpaths
Borivli's New Link Road has footpaths. Many of them. But, these are strictly for parking vehicles on. Pedestrians can go find some other space to walk on. That's what mid-day found on its visit to the suburb. The encroachers here are shopkeepers and hawkers, two-wheelers, three-wheelers and cars belonging both to residents and showroom owners, making the footpaths here the biggest example of illegal use of public space.
Borivli Link Road
The stretch from I C Colony to Don Bosco junction is an extremely traffic heavy one. The road is also lined by residential buildings, as well as shops and restaurants. There are many garages and car showrooms, too, that line a large portion of the road, which have taken over the footpaths. Cars are parked right on the footpaths either for repairs or to draw in buyers. Citizens, too, have contributed to the chaos by parking their own vehicles on footpaths outside their buildings.
Cars on the footpath near IC Colony forces residents to take another route for their morning walks
On one side of the stretch near Eksar junction are resale car showrooms, while multiple garages line the other side. Both have enchroached on footpaths to park their vehicles. A shopowner on the stretch dismissed our concern with, "It's not as if this footpath is majorly used by pedestrians. We hardly see people walking by from here."
Avinash S, senior citizen and resident of I C Colony, said, "This stretch of road is part of many nearby residents' morning walk routine. In addition to these resale cars, personal cars, too, are parked in the mornings, completely blocking access to the footpath. Many people have changed their routes because it is impossible to walk on the roads owing to fast moving traffic."
Cars from a garage parked on the footpath. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Personal vehicle parking has become the new menace. Thanks to lack of space people have turned to footpaths. Along New Link Road as well as inside MHB Colony, one can see cars and bikes parked on footpaths. The area right outside MHB Police Station has a bus stop at its gate, completely covering the footpath, leaving no space for pedestrians. More so, there are rusting and unused vehicles parked in front of this bus stop.
Yuvan D'Souza, a citizen activist from the locality said, "Residents, too, need to be co-operative when it comes to civic issues. We can't always point fingers at authorities. Parking on footpaths is the biggest example of this."
Readers respond to mid-day's campaign to clear's city's pavements
Why do authorities need to be told that there's a problem?
Thank you mid-day for taking up the footpath issue. Why do the police and civic authorities ask us to tell them about our problems and only then solve them? As if footpaths and their misuse or maintenance is not their job. Can they not see? Do they not walk or go by in their vehicles? Most of the footpaths being mentioned are not hidden from plain sight. Authorities are paid from the taxes we pay. They need to do their job properly first.
Why don't the authorities care about fixing a genuine citizen problem? As mid-day highlighted, along the Link Road from Andheri to Dahisar, pedestrians are forced to walk on the road with most footpaths encroached upon by car dealer showrooms, bikes, auto-rickshaws and even tempos. This is putting pedestrians in the path of serious danger. The authorities should get these footpaths vacated immediately, so that they can be used for the purpose they were built. Thanks to mid-day for its campaign to clean the city's pavements.
S N KABRA
Car showrooms bribe cops into allowing them to park vehicles on the roads and footpaths. mid-day has aptly captured Hyundai cars parked on the busy Chincholi Bunder signal footpath, with cops giving it the Nelson's Eye. This is the situation everywhere in the city. Rules are flouted by hoteliers and grocery shop owners, too. The common man is immediately penalised for minor offences such as not wearing seat belts, etc, but these major breaches are overlooked because money is exchanged under the table. Citizens, too, should regularly post pictures to the authorities to keep them on their toes.
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