Civic amenities, connectivity elude industrial hub of 8 lakh residents
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K West, the most-populated ward is a hub of commercial and industrial activities. While part of the ward is dotted with glass-tinted multi-storey offices of major corporates, the industrial hub MIDC-SEEPZ, Saki Naka industrial belt, slums and SRA projects cover up the rest.
The ward covers 23.5 square kilometres, with a population of over 8 lakh and an additional day-time floating population of two lakh.
While there are more than 250 storage, manufacturing and processing units in this industrial belt, there are over 100 small and big slum pockets in the locality, some of which have been turned into huge SRA projects, according to civic officials.
"The increase in number of slum development projects and commercial complexes is putting pressure on civic amenities. Also, due to the ongoing Metro rail work, the existing infrastructure gets damaged which is not repaired on time," said Clive Dais, Congress corporator from K East.
While traffic congestion on the Andheri -Kurla belt is a nightmare for commuters, the roads in Saki Naka, SEEPZ, Marol, Mahakali Caves Road, Chakala and Subhash Road are pothole-ridden. The ongoing Metro (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar link) work on the Andheri-Kurla road has added to traffic woes.
"While the MMRDA is supposed to be digging the road only for laying of pillars for the Metro, the roads on both sides of Andheri-Kurla have been dug up at some places, damaging sewer lines, drainage and water pipelines. The BMC and MMRDA keep blaming each other and as a result, the situation gets worse," said James John, coordinator of Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI) for Andheri, Jogeshwari and Parle.
The Mumbai International Airport and the Western Express Highway push up vehicular traffic both ways in this ward.
The much-awaited Milan Subway ROB, which is to be constructed between Santacruz and Vile Parle to provide east and west connectivity, decongest traffic, improve local railway speed and ease pedestrian movement, has seen various hurdles.
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