Mumbai: Aarey locals not buying into pre-poll road repairs
Usually potholed and uneven, the arterial road leading to Royal Palms and the SRA colony in Mayur Nagar is undergoing repairs, a spot visit by mid-day reveals
'Is the government selective about when to repair roads?' This is a question currently on the minds of Aarey Colony residents as repair work of the arterial road leading to Royal Palms and the SRA colony near Mayur Nagar was taken up just three days before Assembly elections. At the same time, several internal roads leading to tribal hamlets continue to be in bad shape.
On Friday, when mid-day visited Aarey Milk Colony, it was observed that the road which connects Royal Palms to the Aarey market was being repaired. The road has been in bad shape for a long time with not just potholes but also an uneven surface. Royal Palms residents had complained about the same during Lok Sabha polls. While some residents are glad, tribals feel that internal roads, collectively measuring 45 km, under the jurisdiction of the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Aarey CEO's office should be repaired too. Apart from tribals, cattle farm owners also face considerable hardships while transporting milk.
Businessman Biju Augustine, who has an office at Royal Palms, said, "Before monsoon, when local MLA Ravindra Waikar visited Royal Palms, residents had complained about the roads. He promised to get the road from Aarey Market to Royal Palms repaired through his MLA funds and now that monsoon has ended, the work has started. This is a good thing. We would also like the authorities to repair the internal roads connecting tribal hamlets."
A repaired stretch of the arterial road seen on Friday
On Friday night, tar was being relayed on the 1.3-km stretch and work on almost 400-500 meters has been completed. It has currently been stopped as rains reappeared over the weekend. Residents who did not wish to be named said that there are 2,500-3,000 voters in Mayur Nagar and Royal Palms and the repair of roads might encourage them to vote.
Tribal leader Prakash Bhoir said, "Aarey CEO's office has not maintained the roads properly in years. Some roads are repaired on priority just before elections. Everyone knows why this is being done. The condition of internal roads is so bad that a few months ago, a pregnant woman ended up delivering in a rickshaw. We will request the Aarey CEO to repair internal roads after polls."
Similarly, Bhayandar East is also witnessing the repairing of roads. Lucky Rawal, president of the Chess Association in the area, said, "There was not much development in the past five years but right after Navratri, road repairs suddenly began near Kranti School and Jesal Park. This is being done just to woo voters."
Collective length of internal roads in Aarey Colony
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Maharashtra political drama moves to Supreme Court