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Friday, February 25, 2011

Fwd: Do suggest solutions to tackle pavement takeovers in Mumbai

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 17:45:58 +0530
Subject: Do suggest solutions to tackle pavement takeovers in Mumbai

100 yards from the Anti Corruption Bureau office on P B Marg, right in
front of the sprawling Kamala Mills Compound, diagonally opposite the
Hard Rock Cafe, a large group of migrant labourers have taken up
residence... with plastic sheets, tiles uprooted from the pavement,
railings and bamboos pilfered from a nearby worksite, and bits and
pieces salvaged from trash heaps. They have even built a makeshift
temple very recently out of these scraps where elaborate puja is
conducted by the women. The pavement is completely blocked. So they have
spilled out on the road. They have set up cooking fires on the road
itself and defecate and bathe openly on the road itself. They also use
the road itself to make their wares ... garlands and baskets and
trinkets and food items which they sell. The children, specially the
very young, crawl directly on the road. This road has become a very busy
thoroughfare recently, due to all the offices in the neighbourhood. But
half the road is taken up by the squatters. Pedestrians inch their way
down the middle of the road, trying to dodge buses and cars. Young girls
working at the BPOs in adjacent offices, run the gamut of walking
through crowds of young men lolling around in their underwear, squatting
on the road. At times, violent fights break out between the inmates,
spilling out into the opposite lane. At peak hours, huge traffic jams
start as the traffic moves forward in a single lane, barely inches away
from the cooking fires burning away on the road. And at night, buses and
trucks roaring down the ill lit road are in grave danger of running down
the barely seen huddles of people sleeping directly on the road.

Apart from being filthy, insanitary, a breeding ground for disease,
apart from being a traffic hazard and a safety hazard, apart from being
a complete trangression of all BMC and RTO rules, it is unthinkable that
human beings are being given permission to live like this on such a busy
thoroughfare - and they must be given permission by SOMEONE, because
they can't just live like that in open sight, breaking all the rules
without someone in authority turning a blind eye.

So who is this someone we need to speak to? Who is there in BMC who can
help? Or the POLICE? The local police have obviously been looking the
other way and it obviously is worth their inattention. So nothing to be
gained by complaining.
Any ideas?

Posted by Namita in - a platform for social and civic

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