Mumbai: Navigating Bandra East just got a whole lot tougher
The shutting of a main staircase has left a mess for thousands of commuters to negotiate; Railways, BMC blame each other
The closure of an east-side exit at the suburban Bandra railway station, which connects people to the family court, collector's office, MHADA, ONGC and the BKC business district, has caused a mess for thousands of commuters. While authorities have opened a new staircase, they have not cleared the road it leads to, with the Railways and the BMC passing the buck.
Western Railway closed the old arm for repairs on September 18. The new staircase lands at a broken road meant as autorickshaw lanes. All three lanes, one of which is used exclusively by autos, are pothole ridden and stagnate with water during the monsoon.
Commuters, who already battle errant autorickshaw drivers, narrow litter-filled roads and traffic jams, now have to navigate through puddles.
The terrible state of the road outside the station at Bandra East. Pic/s Bipin Kokate
"It gets very difficult to cross these lanes filled with mud and uneven surfaces," said Namita Chhabra, a regular commuter who works in BKC. "Rickshaws splash water on pedestrians. How are we to cross this area?
Another commuter, Yogesh Chaurasia, criticised authorties for closing the old staircase without offering a better
"This station was never known to be commuter-friendly," he said. "We are already inconvenienced by rickshaws. Despite several complaints, not a single authority is looking into the issue."
Commuters exiting the station have to gingerly navigate the huge potholes outside
An official WR statement said the east-side staircase near the booking office will remain closed for rebuilding and recasting for 60 days and will open again on November 16.
"The area is under the railway authority and we have already asked them to repair it for the safety of passengers," said Ashok Khairnar, assistant commissioner of H-East ward.
But Railway PRO Ravindra Bhakar refused to take responsibility. "The area does belong to the railways, but it has been given to the BMC on lease to lay their water pipeline. So it is their responsibility to look after it. We closed the old bridge for passenger safety and provided a new staircase."
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