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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Ghatkopar residents fume as BMC ignores pleas to build footpath

Ghatkopar residents fume as BMC ignores pleas to build footpath

Updated on: 17 January,2024 05:32 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prasun Choudhari |

No walking space as vehicles parked on both sides of LBS Marg stretch

Ghatkopar residents fume as BMC ignores pleas to build footpath

The stretch in Ghatkopar that lacks a footpath on Tuesday

Ghatkopar residents have been struggling for more than a year to get the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to build a footpath on a stretch of Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) Marg between the Sanghani Estate traffic signal near Sarvodaya Hospital and Gangawadi. Locals are concerned as the road was widened by the civic body around a year ago and LBS Marg sees heavy traffic flow every day. Though the local MP, Manoj Kotak, sent a letter to the BMC a year ago seeking that a sidewalk be constructed, no action has been taken. mid-day visited the spot on February 16 to find it was almost impossible to traverse the stretch on foot due to the intense traffic flow and parking of vehicles on the sides of the road.

The heavy flow of traffic on the busy road is a hindrance for pedestrians. Pics/Sameer Markande
The heavy flow of traffic on the busy road is a hindrance for pedestrians. Pics/Sameer Markande

Kannan Raghavan, a senior citizen residing in the area, said, “We are fed up. The road was widened by the BMC almost a year back. I have written letters to the civic body and various ministers about the same matter but no action has been taken.” Raghavan had also written a letter to Kotak, who represents the Mumbai North East Lok Sabha seat, on December 9, 2023, stating, “I am a senior citizen who’s been residing at Damodar Park Complex in Ghatkopar for many years. The civic authorities have widened the LBS Marg from Sanghani traffic signal to Gangawadi sometime ago but have not provided footpaths for pedestrians on this stretch. This makes it very difficult for residents to walk towards Sarvodaya Hospital as there is heavy vehicular traffic. I have contacted the deputy chief engineer and assistant engineer, roads, east zone, regarding the same but I have not received a firm reply that my request will be addressed in a time frame.”

On receiving this letter, Kotak also wrote a letter to the assistant municipal commissioner of N ward but no action has been taken. Raghavan on October 4, 2023, had addressed a similar letter to Mangal Prabhat Lodha, the city guardian minister. A pedestrian walking on the stretch told mid-day, “It has been over a year since the road has been widened. It seems the BMC has forgotten to construct a footpath along it. The dense traffic during peak hours makes it very difficult for us to traverse the road. Despite receiving many complaints about this, the BMC has failed to take any action.”

BMC reacts
Informed about the situation, Gajanan Belale, assistant municipal commissioner, N ward, said, “This work will be proposed in the winding of Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road in coordination with the deputy chief engineer of the roads department. I will follow up on a priority basis and do the needful.”

Activist Speak
Advocate Godfrey Pimenta, a civic rights activist, said, “I have also faced the same issue when walking in the locality. Due to the unavailability of footpaths, it has become very difficult to walk. Tomorrow if any untoward incident takes place, BMC officials should be held responsible for negligence of duty. I have written an email to various officials regarding this.”

The email written by Pimenta to the BMC, joint commissioner of police (traffic) and state government read, “Approximately a year ago, the N ward undertook the commendable task of widening LBS Marg. However, it has come to our notice that a crucial stretch between the Sanghani Estate traffic signal and Gangawadi remains devoid of any footpath. This oversight poses a severe threat to the safety of pedestrians, especially school-going children and senior citizens, who are compelled to navigate the busy road amidst heavy traffic.

The absence of a footpath in this high-traffic region increases the risk of accidents, putting vulnerable individuals at significant peril. The proximity of Sarvodaya hospital further accentuates the urgency of addressing this matter promptly, given the influx of pedestrians in the area seeking medical assistance.” Requesting immediate intervention from the authorities, the email continued, “In the interest of public safety, we earnestly request the BMC to take immediate action and allocate sufficient space for a footpath on the aforementioned stretch.

This proactive step is essential to prevent potential mishaps and ensure the well-being of pedestrians, particularly those accessing the hospital. We trust that you will give this matter the utmost priority and look forward to witnessing swift and effective measures to rectify the current situation. Your commitment to the safety and welfare of the citizens is paramount, and we appreciate your prompt attention to this pressing issue.”

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