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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Maze runner The Andheri jigsaw

Maze runner: The Andheri jigsaw

Updated on: 18 January,2024 06:43 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

Unplanned civic work, with a new road being dug up every day, has sown traffic chaos in the busy area around Andheri’s Bhavan’s College

Maze runner: The Andheri jigsaw

Gilbert Hill Road, where a water line is being laid, in Andheri West, on January 16. Pics/Anurag Ahire

Key Highlights

  1. Andheri residents are trapped in a labyrinth fashioned by the BMC
  2. Every day, the civic body kicks off new work and roads are closed
  3. It has even excavated the newly built cement concrete Gilbert Hill Road to lay water line

Andheri residents are trapped in a labyrinth fashioned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which has dug up every road near Bhavan’s College. Every day, without giving any notice or putting up prominent signs, the civic body kicks off new work and roads are closed. It has even excavated the newly built cement concrete Gilbert Hill Road to lay a water line.

The western suburb is infamous for its traffic congestion and the closure of Gokhale bridge, a crucial east-west connector, has exacerbated the situation.
The site of Bhavan’s College is connected to other parts of Andheri by JP Road (Metro Line Road), Dadabhai Nagar Road (Jali Wali Masjid lane), Dadabhai Cross Road and Gilbert Hill Road. However, works related to water and sewer lines, drain expansion and footpath construction are being undertaken simultaneously on these roads.

Gilbert Hill Road, where a water line is being laid, in Andheri West, on January 16

Nullah work

Stormwater drain work was started after the monsoon on JP Road to ensure more water can be emptied from Mogra nullah and it won’t be completed until the monsoon season. More than half of the road is closed to traffic. So, vehicles going towards Bhavan’s College or Gilbert Hill must take the Dadabhai Nagar Road.

The six-metre-wide New Dadabhai Road is being dug up to construct a new stretch. As gutters are being built on the stretch, the path is choked by construction material. A tree had fallen on the road last week, adding to the chaos.

Maze Runner: The Andheri Jigsaw

On Wednesday, sewerage line work was underway at 100-metre intervals from Gilbert Hill Road to Dadabhai Cross Road and, according to the residents, the work has been going on for more than a year.

The Dadabhai Nagar Road, which joins JP Road and Gilbert Hill Road, was jam-packed during office and college hours as it is the only path available to motorists.
“Not only this, the Gilbert Hill Road was converted into a cement concrete stretch last year and the road is now dug up to lay a new water pipeline. The demand for the new line is at least five years old. But the BMC didn’t do it before constructing the road and now the whole road is closed to traffic,” said Prasad Aayre, a resident.

A dug-up road near Bhavan’s College on January 16. Pic/Anurag AhireA dug-up road near Bhavan’s College on January 16. Pic/Anurag Ahire

Tree collapse held up traffic

Another resident said, the tree on the New Dadabhai Road collapsed on Thursday afternoon due to a mistake of the road contractor, but he didn’t have manpower or machinery to deal with it. Vehicles were not allowed to ply the road until the fire brigade removed the tree. Aayre also pointed out that the roads have been dug up for the installation of CCTV cameras. Last week, a road was closed without any notice due to this work, said Aayre. 

“Roads are dug up and vehicles are parked on footpaths. We are not against the infra work but there should be some management. The traffic police should not allow vehicles to park haphazardly. The BMC should put boards in prominent places. I went to the BMC office and complained to the officers but nothing happened. It is difficult for senior citizens like us to even walk on roads,” Sunil Birje, a resident of Pancham Society.

Residents’ woes

Residents have no idea which road is closed. Even college and school children face issues due to traffic jams. “We generally come through Dadabhai Road, but it is all dug up. Even the tiles on footpaths of JP Road were removed,” said a student of Bhavan’s college.

“Every day, before leaving home and office we have to think about which road to select! This has been the situation for several months for one reason or another. The authorities are taking things for granted and digging up roads without informing residents under the pretext of civic infrastructure,” said Aayre.

Another resident said, “We step out of the house and find new digging work taking place. CCTV cameras are being installed by the police. The day before yesterday they dug up the road vertically, leaving a narrow patch for vehicles. How can they expect cooperation from residents?”

A resident, Sunil Jain Khabia, said, “I stay near Apna Bazar building and it takes me more than half an hour to reach Gilbert Hill, which is merely five minutes away. The roads are dug up and no one is accountable for the mess. Already Gokhale bridge is closed. The Andheri subway and Vile Parle bridge cannot bear the pressure of traffic. We had thought the Metro line would solve our traffic issue, but I think the issue is unsolvable due to the civic authorities’ apathy towards citizens.”

BMC Speak

An official from K West ward told mid-day, “We know that many works are going on simultaneously as we cannot work during the four months of the monsoon. These works are being carried out by various departments and we generally try to do them logically, but sometimes such a situation happens due to their urgent and important nature.”

Another official said that there is pressure on all departments not to overshoot deadlines and review meetings are going on frequently. “So, none of the departments want to take risks and start their work after waiting for others to complete theirs,” he said. 

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