Mumbai: BJP corporator demolishes DN Nagar divider, but MNS opposes the move

Updated: Feb 05, 2018, 14:44 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

After BJP corporator demolishes divider in Andheri locality on the request of residents of a high-rise, MNS backs Indira Nagar slum dwellers on the opposite side, who say it's crucial for road safety

Private labourers demolish the divider outside Bharat Sky Vistas Tower in DN Nagar Andheri
Private labourers demolish the divider outside Bharat Sky Vistas Tower in DN Nagar Andheri

A major controversy was sparked in Andheri's DN Nagar yesterday when a local corporator allegedly damaged public property on the request of a few residents of a society in the locality. Corporator Sudha Singh, with the help of private labour provided by residents of Bharat Sky Vistas Tower, got a road divider outside the high-rise demolished. Reason: they don't want to keep taking a longer route for making a u-turn to enter and exit from their gate.

BJP corporator Sudha Singh
BJP corporator Sudha Singh

This, however, has not gone down well with 'the other side' - Indira Nagar slums, located on the opposite side. Its residents are up in arms over the demolition, saying it is very important to have the divider, as the spot is very accident-prone due to vehicles coming out of the residential society on the road into heavy traffic. They added that due to the several construction works going on in the area and other buildings around, many passers-by, especially children, use that road.

Tug of war
The issue has turned political with the local BJP corporator standing at the spot in favour of demolition, while an MNS activist from the locality talking against it. A resident of Indira Nagar, Sandip Patil, said, "The tower residents have been demanding breaking of the divider at the spot so that their car rides are made convenient. But the divider was put with some logic behind it, for the safety of residents and passers-by.

"There are so many construction works happening in the locality because of which there are heavy trucks and cement mixers passing by, besides other traffic. Also, the tower residents face a water problem; so their water tankers keep coming in. In all this, that divider is important for disciplined traffic movement." Patil has already written to the civic body several times to not allow demolition of the divider. "I have seen accidents happening at the spot. Around eight months ago, when the divider was broken, there was a fatal accident involving a biker," he added.

MNS vs BJP
Kushal Dhuri, vice-president of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena, who was at the spot last morning, said, "When we learnt from residents of Indira Nagar that this is happening, we were shocked. We immediately reached the spot, demanding to see permission from the civic body for private labour to demolish a public property. As we thought, the corporator did not have it, but we were told that was because the BMC office was closed on Sunday. Why then was the demolition being done in such haste? They could have waited till Monday when the office opened."

"It is not the demolition of a divider. It is regarding opening up a central median, for which traffic department NOC has been received. And it's not residents who are levelling allegations against us, but some MNS workers, who want to extort money from the society," said Singh. When asked about the permission, she added, "The tower residents already had permission from the BMC for opening up that spot." Singh showed an NOC from the traffic department.

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