Residents of Powai have their own share of woes. “The beautiful greens and open spaces that drew my husband and me to buy a flat here 15 years ago are largely gone now, with more and more buildings coming up,” said Radha Kumar.
Mark D’souza, founder of Manch Mumbai Citizens, an organisation that arranges various sports and cultural activities for Powai residents, complains that open spaces in the area are poorly maintained.
“There are no well-maintained public playgrounds in Powai. The ratio of open spaces to the population is disproportional,” said the 54-year-old who has been living in Powai for 10 years.
D’souza also points out the lack of civic amenities in Powai. “We don’t have a municipal market or a civic hospital,” he said.
Quarrying continues to be a big issue with residents. Pamela Cheema, coordinator for Action for Good Governance and Networking in India, and CitiSpace, said: “Though citizen groups have raised their voice against it, quarrying in parts of Powai - such as on the plot behind the Hiranandani hospital – continues.”
Traffic congestion is another big problem for Powai residents. “Traffic concerns are growing because of the bottleneck near the flyover that leads to the Eastern Express Highway,” said Kumar.
“We have also been demanding an elevated road from Gandhinagar flyover to L&T flyover, but no one has paid attention,” said Cheema, adding that the BMC does not take the concerns of citizen groups seriously.
Minoo Mantri, founder volunteer of NGO Think Beyond, however, approaches the issues differently. “Living in Powai is good compared to other places in Mumbai. Like any other place, it comes with its pros and cons,” she said.