Mumbai: Residents break down containment barricades over 'inconvenience'

Updated: May 18, 2020, 23:14 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Residents of Andheri slums sealed by BMC and police say barricades create problems while accessing toilets and for garbage disposal

A barricade broken by locals in K West ward to allow easy movement
A barricade broken by locals in K West ward to allow easy movement

Residents of Andheri's Dhangarwadi slum pocket, near Gilbert Hills, have brought BMC's efforts to seal congested areas to naught. In most of the lanes, locals have broken the barricades, as they say they are being forced to take a long route to common toilets and also because garbage collection has become a major issue due to the restriction.

The civic body had decided to seal several congested slum pockets across the city, including areas from Jogeshwari West to Vile Parle West, for better management of the COVID-19 situation. Juhu Galli and Dhangarwadi with a population of 20,000 are among the seven slums that have been sealed in coordination with the police. The BMC started the sealing process on May 11 and completed it last Friday. However, locals have removed many of the barricades that were put up. Reasons: They have to take a long route to reach the common toilets and NGOs have not been visiting the lanes to collect garbage.

Barricades make garbage collection very tough, say locals
Barricades make garbage collection very tough, say locals

Speaking to mid-day, local corporator Meher Mohsin Haider said, "The K West ward officials did not plan properly before sealing the lanes. Why should people take a longer route to reach a common toilet? Many women are afraid to do it. The locals are also facing issues related to garbage collection." She has written a letter to the municipal commissioner mentioning that garbage collection had completely stopped in the area and later just a small space was opened for such a densely populated locality.

Resident Hiranna Poojary said that the problem was near Hanuman Mandir, from where people had to take a long route to the toilets. However, after the problem was reported, the barricades were shifted to other places. "There were issues with garbage collection also. The NGOs usually collect garbage, clean pathways and gutters as well. They did not come for two to three days, but now they are managing. The BMC is doing it for the residents," added Poojary. Resident Uday Mahale said, "Some people think all of this is nonsense and they do not obey rules. They removed the barricades without discussing with the police or BMC. There must have been some issues but those could have been resolved."

The civic body has sealed Nehru Nagar, Versova, Anand Nagar, Gaondevi Dongri (Gilbert Hill), Junaid Nagar/Samata Nagar, Juhu Galli and Juhu Koliwada in K West Ward, which has a total population of 1,21,780. Even after repeated attempts to contact Vishwas Mote, assistant commissioner of K West, he remained unavailable for comment.

Population in Juhu Galli and Dhangarwadi

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