Three hours. That is the approximate time 50-year-old DM Yadav, a resident of Building Number 15 at Maharashtra Nagar in Mankhurd, will spend to cast his vote in Thursday’s civic polls. The reason: his name on the voters’ list has not been transferred to his new ward.
Eight months ago, around 1,500 voters like him were shifted from Malad, Kandivli and some parts of Andheri due to various development projects carried out by the Mumbai Metro Region Development Authority MMRDA. A total of around 50,000 voters from across Mumbai have been rehabilitated in the M east ward of Mankhurd and Govandi. But as their names in the voters’ list have not been transferred, they will have to vote in their previous wards. “We will have to change two trains (Mankhurd to Kurla, Kurla- Dadar and Dadar-Malad) to reach the polling booth,” said Yadav.
All these voters are Project Affected People (PAPs) who were displaced due to various works carried out under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project (MUIP) and Mithi river development project from various areas including Wadala, Chembur, Kurla, Malad and Kandivli.
Around 4,000 people who shifted from Wadala managed to transfer their names with the help of political parties. “These people have their names registered at both the places –their previous wards and the new ward,” said Prakash Patil, assistant municipal commissioner of M/east ward. On Tuesday, Patil visited the buildings where the people are housed. “The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) did not transfer their names from the voters’ list; I’ve urged them to cast their votes in their previous wards. And those with names in two wards are free to vote in any one,” he said.
Meanwhile, despite the inconvenience, most of them are keen to vote. “There are many documents to be submitted to the BMC. If we boycott the elections, this pending work will never be done,” said Noor Banu who earlier stayed in Malad. Interestingly, many parties from the evicted wards have offered a pick and drop facility.