In a rare instance, it’s not the BMC, but the residents who have stopped the work on beautifying the abandoned areas under the Hindmata flyover in Dadar (East). Reason: They fear the work will lead to more waterlogging at the already flooding-prone site.
Last year, the Brihanumumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had decided to take up the beautification work under two flyovers — Hindmata and Matunga.
The work on the Hindmata flyover was to start in January, but could not take off even after holding bhoomipuja twice because of residents’ resistance. The work on Matunga flyover, too, is yet to start.
“The 2,000-sqm space under the Hindmata flyover is currently used for parking. We want to develop it into a small garden, which can be utilised by citizens. We plan to raise the portion under the flyover to build the garden, which the citizens are not in favour of,” said a senior official from the garden department, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“Citizens feel raising a portion will increase the chance of water entering their shops and houses. Also, they don’t want to lose their parking space,” said the official.
Following the protest, Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale had last month said the BMC should start the work in August, after which the project was put on hold. On the other hand, the residents of Matunga are unhappy with the delay in the work on the flyover.
Social activist and local resident Nikhil Desai said, “The plan to have a garden under the flyover is good. The order was issued in January, but nothing much has been done yet.”
The improvement of the central median from Mulund to Bhandup and Vikroli to R city Mall and the space under Hindmata and Matunga flyover will cost the civic body around Rs 11 crore and is expected to be completed in a year.