BMC demolishes 120-feet wall nine months after this paper highlighted ordeal of 25,000 families in Kandivli Lokhandwala
The demolished wall
Nearly nine months after mid-day highlighted the plight of about 25,000 families residing in the Kandivli Lokhandwala Township, and lakhs of commuters travelling on Akurli Road who spend hours to travel on a one-km stretch due to traffic snarls, the BMC demolished a 120-foot wall. This will now provide them with easy alternative access to the Western Express Highway.
The one-km stretch of road connects the township to Thakur Village, towards the WEH.
mid-day had highlighted two cases, where members of Bajoria and Talwar families had alleged that the harrowing traffic had claimed the lives of their loved ones as they could not reach the nearby hospitals on time.
BMC demolished the 120 feet wall, which will provide locals and commuters easy alternative access to the Western Express Highway
Another incident reported was that of the students of Gundecha Education Academy in Thakur Village, who had reached an hour late for their Std IX exams, as the school bus was stuck in traffic.
To press for their demands local residents had been organising peaceful assemblies once a month, hoping to be heard by the authorities concerned, and were reaching a point of desperation.
“The DP of 1991, which has provision for a 120 feet road, has been delayed due to the presence of 310 legal shanties at Singh Estate along the wall. But we are happy that the new opening, which currently can be used only by two and three wheelers, cuts down an hour-long tedious drive to little over five minutes,” informed Nitin Jha, a local resident and activist.
Thanking mid-day for highlighting their plight, Jha added that it was a time consuming task to find alternative accommodation for the affected families, so the residents had suggested an alternative plan, where a boundary wall of Mahindra and Mahindra, which was handed over to the government in 2018, could be demolished without touching the houses at Singh Estate. “The matter picked up pace in the past four months after meetings with the Chief Minister,” he said.
‘Walked home in 5 minutes’
Yuvraj Bhosle, 23, a banking course student of Thakur College said his daily commute ordeal invariably started with first finding an auto and then spending more than Rs 100 for a chaotic two hours ride in traffic to and fro. “On Wednesday evening, after my lecture, I heard about the demolition and was immensely happy, when I reached home walking in just five minutes.”
Shiva Singh, 18, an IT student from the same college expressed his happiness of saving time and money on his daily commute by an auto. “There have been times when I have spent R70 for a one way journey,” he said.
Dr Bhagyashree Kapse, deputy municipal commissioner (Zone 7), informed that a team from the Bridges Department was already working on a feasibility report for construction of an elevated roadway, with minimum displacement of huts in Singh Estate, for better connectivity of four wheelers and heavy vehicles, to further ease the traffic.
“Our biggest challenge is finding alternative accommodation for the hut dwellers. This is a daunting and time consuming task.
We had offered monetary compensation, but the residents are opposed to shifting,” she said.