Mumbai: Wadala hill to get fence, beat chowky after residents protest
Plagued by unlawful activities around their housing complex, Aster residents join hands to reclaim crucial open space
An aerial view of the hillock in Wadala where anti-social elements gather. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
There's finally a ray of hope for residents of Aster in Wadala's Dosti Acres, who have been fed up with the rampant unlawful activities happening on the hillock behind their building. In a meeting with F-north ward's AMC Keshav Ubale, they were assured of fencing on the route that divides the BMC garden from the hillock, a beat chowky nearby and more trees in places where the existing ones have been uprooted.
While the fencing work is likely to commence on Tuesday, setting up of the chowky and tree plantation, which will be done by the civic body and residents together, will take place in the days to come.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, a resident of the Wadala building that overlooks the hillock, shows one of the spots where the miscreants gather. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
A resident, Priyanka Chaturvedi, whose flat overlooks the hillock, said, "It all started two years ago. A group of boys started coming to smoke there, often heckling the residents and making rude gestures at them. "A few days ago, I was standing at my window when a boy smoking in the bushes suddenly flashed me. When I tried to click a photo of him [for proof] while yelling at him, he ran up."
"The menace is more under cover of dark than during the day. The miscreants take advantage of the fact that there are no street lights there. If [this problem is] left unattended, we are afraid they will get bolder," said Clifford Shivkar, another resident.
Course of action
Chaturvedi, who was part of the delegation of residents that met Ubale, said she has registered an NC with the Wadala police. "After I kept complaining, they sent an officer to my house. Though the police took swift action, we still see boys loitering on the hill," she added.
Vasant Rane, whose house is on the hillock, said, "Despite the foliage being thick, the boys have managed to make a pathway for themselves." In February, Chaturvedi had written a letter to the assistant municipal commissioner about the problem.
An activist with Friends of Wadala East and a resident of the building, Rahul Daga, said, "In December, the residents approached me with a complaint. We even took a walk down the hill to see things for ourselves. We found empty bottles of alcohol and cigarette packets. We immediately informed the police [a letter has been sent to Joint Commissioner of Police, law and order, Deven Bharti]."
What the police say
An inspector from the Wadala police said, "Based on the residents' complaints, we have increased patrolling in the area. Once, we had even caught one of the boys red-handed from the bushes. He later let him go after giving him a strict warning. The hill is a complicated stretch. When they see our vehicles, they flee from the other side."
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