In what may seem like a scene straight out of the Bollywood film ‘Nayak’, Thane municipal commissioner RA Rajeev, with a team of 15-20 civic officers, personally inspected Thane for its problems. But, unlike the film, the civic chief embarked on a bicycle for his sojourn.
The journey for Rajeev and his team began from the civic headquarters in Panchpakhadi at 9am and concluded at Golden Dyes Naka on Ghodbunder Road after two hours.
“Garbage came across as a glaring issue at one or two places. We observed that in some places, the shopkeepers kept their shops clean while dumping the waste on the road. We asked them to clean it themselves. Some of the footpaths are not in good condition. The water-table is also in a bad state and the drainage system needs to be improved,” said Rajeev.
The commissioner instructed the city engineer to repair the uneven roads. In case of roads that were encroached upon by vehicles up for resale, Rajeev has ordered his men to place jammers and fine them Rs 10,000 per vehicle. The idea behind planning such a tour, according to Rajeev, was to understand the problems of the city more closely and to sensitise his subordinates about the same. “Though a commissioner supervises the work on a regular basis, his mode of transport is a car which cannot be halted at every stop. Cycle ride allows one to understand the problems of the common man,” he added.
Awareness regarding global warming, traffic congestion and safe pedestrian movement too was the motive behind the cycle tour. “This was a small initiative towards creating awareness about climate change and global warming. Increasing dependence on cars leads to traffic congestion. We will have dedicated cycle tracks along the footpaths on the Eastern
Express Highway and Ghodbunder Road,” said Rajeev, adding that he will go on such rides once or twice a week.