Builders robbing us of footpaths: Matunga residents

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Builders robbing us of footpaths: Matunga residents

Footpaths in the area are clogged with construction material and debris

Locals claim developers are storing construction material and dumping debris on Telang Road and its surroundings; BMC promises to carry out checks.

Pedestrians are at the receiving end yet again, with residents of Matunga's Telang Road and its vicinity complaining to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that footpaths in the area are clogged with construction material and debris from ongoing building projects.

"There are several redevelopment projects going on in the area, and footpaths are being used to store material like machines and bricks. There is hardly any place to walk, and what little is left is a hazard for walkers. Developers are supposed to use the plot area, not footpaths," said Ankit Shah, a complainant. 

Last year, Mumbai Mirror had highlighted the plight of the city's fast disappearing footpaths in its monthlong 'Talk the Walk' campaign.

As per civic norms, developers have to demarcate space for storing construction material and other equipment. Similarly, a debris disposal plan has to be submitted before getting the mandatory civic approvals.

As per civic norms, developers have to demarcate space for storing construction material and other equipment. Similarly, a debris disposal plan has to be submitted before getting the mandatory civic approvals.

"Developers have to erect safety scaffolding at the site. Public space like pavements cannot be used by the developer for any purpose. Even if a project is under construction, people must have access to footpaths," said a civic official.

The redevelopment of Brijwasi building in the area is one example of how the footpaths have been encroached upon. "There is hardly any space to walk. Because of the debris, the footpaths are not even cleaned," said Navin Mota, another resident.

"At some places, several ramps have been made. There is no way people can walk over them. In other spots, footpaths have been completely destroyed by heavy vehicles and equipment. The BMC must take action against the developers and ask them to restore the footpaths," Mota added.

Jignesh Shah, whose companies Versatile Buildcon and Prime Housing are also redeveloping a couple of buildings there, said all BMC permissions were in place and rules were not being violated.

"The ramps have been made with BMC's permission. We have not dumped any debris on the pavements nor have we stored any material there. In fact, I have complained several times against cars parked illegally on the pavements," Shah said.

Deepak Shah of Sahajana Enterprise, which is redeveloping Brijwasi building, said, "We will remove any material lying on the footpath and clear it for pedestrians," he said.

Alka Sasane, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, F-North ward, said, "I will ask my staff to inspect the site and we will take action according to procedure. If any debris is found dumped on the pavements, we will get the same removed. We take regular action against unauthorised encroachment on footpaths in our area."

Date of Article: 
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Source: 
Mumbai Mirror