Mumbai: Santa Cruz West reclaims its original street names

Updated: Apr 14, 2019, 13:53 IST | Jane Borges

After mid-day's report on incorrect signboards in suburb, local activist says BMC has begun replacing all of them

Mumbai: Santa Cruz West reclaims its original street names

Nearly two months after a mid-day feature highlighted how the BMC had either misspelled or made lexical errors in several street signboards of a residential colony in Santa Cruz West, the civic authorities have finally replaced most of the incorrect signage.

Local resident and historian Debashish Chakraverty, who has been pursuing the issue of incorrect signboards with municipal officials for the last three-and-a-half years, confirmed the development.

Chakraverty, who resides in Santa Cruz's Central Avenue, which further opens into North/South and West/East avenues, had previously mentioned how the BMC signage on the entrances of these streets, read: Avenue Road. The streets here came to be called avenues because they had trees growing on either side. "That's an oxymoron. If it's an avenue, it cannot be a road, and vice versa," Chakraverty had argued.

Local resident Debashish Chakraverty has been pursuing the issue of incorrect signboards with municipal officials for the last three years
Local resident Debashish Chakraverty has been pursuing the issue of incorrect signboards with municipal officials for the last three years

After years of back and forth with the authorities - Chakraverty also edited the incorrect names on Google Maps - the BMC finally took on the task of replacing all the signboards last month. "Around a month ago, I noticed that the signboards in our ward [H/West Ward], were being replaced. It started with Bandra, Khar and recently Santa Cruz," said Chakraverty.

The updated 'Avenue' signboards have dropped the word 'road'. "The era of the ridiculous 'Avenue Road' in Santa Cruz has finally come to an end; and by-and-large, a fair degree of accuracy has been restored to the names of avenues and lanes," said Chakraverty. The BMC has also installed signboards for lanes like Cottage and Chapel lanes, which previously didn't have one.

Some errors, however, continue to persist. For instance, Santa Cruz, which means Holy Cross, is still erroneously spelled as one word. "Francis Avenue, which is named after St Francis Xavier, conveniently excludes the honorific title. It's one of their favourite errors," he said. Also, the signboard for a street named after Bengali novelist Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, has misspelled his first name as 'Sharad'. "Though I appreciate their effort, I've noticed several such errors and have emailed them," he said. Assistant municipal commissioner of H-West ward Sharad Ughade was unavailable for comment.

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