Mumbai: Roads, stations, air or water, it's all downhill in S-Ward
Even though this is a major ward in the eastern suburbs, residents aren’t even assured of clean air or water, let alone other basic amenities such as safe roads
S-Ward stretches across four major areas in the eastern suburbs — Nahur, Bhandup, Vikhroli, Kanjurmarg - but still suffers from neglect. Roads, stations and drainage systems are all in deteriorating conditions. Even the railway stations and nearby roads are badly lit, making it unsafe for women and children to commute. And despite being home to the green Yeoor hills and the Vihar and Powai lakes, this area suffers from poor air and water quality.
Traffic jam stretches as far as the eye can see at Bhandup on LBS Marg, which is yet to be widened. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Traffic torment: LBS Marg was supposed to be widened three years ago to ease the traffic snarls there, but this is yet to be done. Instead, illegal structures have encroached upon the already constricted road. When mid-day visited the areas, it was quite visible that there was no proper planning in the construction of the buildings on the roadside. This has not only led to heavy traffic, but has also made the area accident-prone.
A flower vendor sets up shop right next to an open drain in Bhandup
Horrible hygiene: Hygiene is a major problem, with around 20,000 people packed in the slums, with limited access to clean drinking water or sanitation. When mid-day visited the slum developing along the Yeoor hills, the reporter found that the drains were left open and roads were flooded with filthy water - perfect breeding grounds for water-borne diseases and mosquito-borne ailments like dengue.
Peak pollution: It is no secret that the ward records one of the highest levels of pollution in Mumbai. Activists and residents pointed out that small factories are mushrooming in the area and burning plastic, which leads to high air pollution. Many residents suffer from respiratory ailments due to this. In fact, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has also marked this area as one of most the polluted places.
President of Hillside Residents Welfare Association (HIRWA)
The BMC commissioner had promised to take immediate action to widen LBS Marg to ease out the traffic, but all the promises are false. Several slums are growing in the hills that don’t have any drainage system or toilet facilities. Soon, these areas will turn into the biggest slums of Mumbai. But BMC is not doing anything about this or the pollution that is causing respiratory diseases among residents of this ward. We talk about Deonar but never about these areas.
Monisha Mahajan, Nahur resident
The streetlights outside Nahur stations don’t function so women who work late feel unsafe while returning home. Whenever I get delayed beyond 10 pm, I always get down at Bhandup station and take an auto home.
Deepika Mishra, Bhandup resident
It has been 40 years since the drain near our society has been cleaned. Every monsoon, the drain gets clogged and starts stinking. Even the garbage on roads isn’t cleaned properly and hawkers sell vegetables surrounded by this filth.
SN Bansal, Bhandup resident
Due to improper cleaning of drains in our area, the roads get over flowed with filthy water in rains. It becomes impossible for aged people like me to walk through those dirty lanes. Also, there is no proper garbage disposal process in the areas.
Anomol Bhushan, Bhandup resident
S-ward has become so dirty with open drains, broken footpaths and garbage. The rains only make it worse.
Satish Wakchaure, Vikhroli resident
The roads are not cleaned on a regular basis. During the monsoon, it becomes impossible to walk on the road, which also turns into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. In fact, it smells so bad that it gets hard to breathe.
Ahead of the 2017 BMC polls, mid-day presents a 48-week initiative for citizens to raise their neighbourhood concerns. You and your corporator are now face-to-face in the Big Civic Battle. If you wish to highlight an issue troubling your ward, write to us at bmcpolls@ mid-day.com
Ward numbers and corporators: 116 Avinash Bhaskar Sawant, 115 Chandan Chittaranjan Sharma, 114 Vishwas Tukaram Shinde, 113 Tavaji Sahadev Gorule, 112 Priyanka Suryakant Shrungare, 111 Ashok Dharmaraj Patil, 110 Dhananjay Sadashiv Pisal, 109 Vaishnavi Vijay Sarfare, 108 Rupesh Uttam Waingankar, 107 Anisha Amol Majgaonkar, 106 Ramesh Gajanan Korgaonkar, 105 Mangesh Narayan Pawar, 104 Suresh Harishchandra Koparkar
Area: 12.5 sq km
Tagore Nagar, Kannamwar Nagar, Kanjur Village, Datar colony, Hanuman Nagar, Kokan Nagar Bhattipada, Nardas Nagar, Bhandup Village, Milind Nagar, Paspoli village, Tirandaz village, Godrej Colony