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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mini Mumbai straddles best and worst of east and west

Mini Mumbai straddles best and worst of east and west

Updated on: 18 May,2024 07:11 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale | prajakta.kasale@mid-day.com

Mumbai North-Central, which covers a huge swathe from celeb homes to business hub, has all kinds of problems from pollution to congestion to redevelopment

Mini Mumbai straddles best and worst of east and west

Debris of a shanty that collapsed in the Behrampada area in Bandra

The Mumbai North Central constituency covers the western as well as eastern suburbs. The belt from Bandra to Vile Parle which is in the Western parts of the city is known for celebrity homes and upper-class residential areas as well as the top-most commercial complex BKC, while Kurla, Kalina, Chembur and Chandivli are majorly slum belt areas. The redevelopment of old buildings by various government authorities is a major issue in the constituency. The redevelopment of slum pockets is also a crucial issue, due to the space crunch and skyrocketing prices of land. 


Resettlement and development issues in areas including the Air India Colony, railway properties, Government Colony and Defence Colony require urgent attention. But the election is not limited to local issues like improvement of infrastructure including Metro and local rail services. Nationwide issues like reservation, religion and employment are also in focus.


The Behrampada area in Bandra East has illegal five-storey shantiesThe Behrampada area in Bandra East has illegal five-storey shanties


As per official data, the area has a major Marathi population along with Muslim pockets. There is also a mixture of Gujarati, Marwadi, North and South Indians. The constituency has around 17 lakh voters and the voter turnout remained below 50 per cent in the last two elections.  The BJP candidate won the past two elections. Out of six assembly segments, two each were won by BJP and Shiv Sena and the remaining two were won by UBT Sena and Congress, respectively, in the 2019 election. This time, the BJP and Sena (Shinde) have given a candidacy to public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. Varsha Gaikwad, who is the Congress candidate for the constituency, is backed by Sena UBT. Both sides declared their candidates just a few days before filing the nomination.

Assembly segments

Chandivli: The suburb has experienced a high rate of construction of residential and commercial towers in slum-dense pockets without improvement of infrastructure. “The fight of Chandivli residents for the construction of ‘90 Feet Road’ as per the Development Plan of Mumbai gathered attention,” said Anil Solakar, a resident.

Another resident, Dr Neeraj Tulara, added, “Apart from that, air pollution from illegal bhattis and ready-mix cement plants is the major issue of Chandivli.”

Sandeep Kadam, Kurla resident; Anil Solakar, Chandivli resident; Debasish Chakraverty, ALM memberSandeep Kadam, Kurla resident; Anil Solakar, Chandivli resident; Debasish Chakraverty, ALM member

The residents have been also raising the issue of illegal hoardings since last year, which went unnoticed by the authorities till now.  Dilip Lande from Shiv Sena won the Assembly seat in 2019. The two Assembly elections before that were won by Congress candidate Naseem Khan.

Kurla: It is one of the most densely populated areas of the city which makes redevelopment a challenge. The underdeveloped area faces several issues, from open dumping of garbage and a choked drainage system to a lack of health and education infrastructure. “The narrow roads and hawker-encroached footpaths are a nightmare for pedestrians and motorists. The road connecting Tilak Nagar to Sion is still not complete. The crime rate is also high with housebreaking as well as pick-pocketing,” said Sandeep Kadam, a retired employee with the Railway and a resident of Kurla.

Illegal parking of heavy vehicles like trucks and buses near residential areas is also creating congestion. Mangesh Kudalkar won the past two Assembly elections from the constituency.

Kalina: The area is known for the Mumbai University, five-star hotels, defence land and large slum pockets at Vakola. It connects to Santacruz railway station on the Western Line and Kurla railway station on the Central Line. An expansion plan of the airport that needed the demolition of 20 vacant buildings in the Air India Colony invited strong protests by Air India employees residing in the colony. Sanjay Potnis from Sena UBT won the last two Assembly elections from the constituency.

Vile Parle: It is a sophisticated area with an upper-middle class population. A major issue here is the redevelopment of nearly 6,000 buildings that are over 30 years old, adjoining the airport in Vile Parle, Santa Cruz, Kurla and Ghatkopar which are in the airport funnel zone. The redevelopment has been stuck due to height restrictions in the funnel zone. Parag Alawani from BJP won the last two Assembly elections.

Bandra East: It comprises the topmost commercial area, the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), but thousands of people working here face connectivity issues which also add traffic woes for local residents. The areas outside Bandra East lack proper management of public transport. Behrampada, an area with four to five-storey illegal shanties, is still awaiting redevelopment. The redevelopment of the Government Colony is also a long-pending issue in the area. Illuminated hoardings on the highway and road connecting to the Bandra Worli Sea Link pose challenges to motorists. Zeeshan Siddiqui from Congress won the seat in 2019. Before that, the Assembly seat was with the Shiv Sena.

Bandra West: Traffic jams, along with unauthorised hawkers and markets are major issues in the Bandra to Santacruz belt. “There isn’t any connection with our past MP Poonam Mahajan for the last 10 years. Dug-up roads that are left unattended is a big risk to residents of Bandra. Illegal hawkers are flourishing at Linking Road and there isn’t any action by authorities,” said Rohinton Polishwala, a resident of Hill Road in Bandra West.

“In August 2014, a study found Santacruz to be India’s most affluent locality by pin code. Today, infra-structurally Santacruz is in miserable condition… the roads resemble a war zone, and the garbage pile-up is apocalyptical. The area has been ignored for too long and has deteriorated immensely,” said Debasish Chakraverty, an ALM member. Ashish Shelar from BJP won the Assembly seat for the last two elections.

17 L
Approx no. of voters in constituency

Community-wise break-up of voters

 

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