Residents of Vile Parle have alleged that the Western Railway (WR) has closed the railway level crossing there permanently from March 9, without taking their consent or giving any prior notice.
The Jagrut Nagarik Manch (JNM), a parent association for all residents’ associations in Vile Parle, has sent letters to the traffic authority, the civic body and the Western Railway asking them to give alternatives to problems that might occur due to the closing of the crossing.
According to Jagrut Nagarik Manch, they were told that the crossing would be closed in October 2011, but the crossing has already been closed.
“There is a crematorium in the west and school buses and other vehicles use the railway crossing as there is a traffic congestion on the Milan Subway. Even the fire brigade uses the crossing to go from Vile Parle east to west. They should have given us some alternative before closing the crossing,” said Hina Shroff, a member of the JNM.
In response, the WR and the traffic police appealed to residents to start using the foot over-bridge as it is in public interest. “We have closed the railway crossing because of the rising number of accidents on it. There are seven lines running through Vile Parle and crossing them is dangerous,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO of WR. According to Chandrayan, the WR had given a week’s notice before closing the crossing.
The residents are also complaining that the foot over-bridge is too steep for senior citizens to climb and that there should be lifts attached to the bridge for their comfort.
“We are not objecting to closing the railway crossing, but at least take our consent and provide us with alternatives,” Shroff added.
However, deputy commissioner of traffic, Nandakumar Chaugule, said there would not be any traffic congestion. “There is already a foot over-bridge, the bridge near Milan subway is under construction and people can take the long route for a while. People’s mindset of not using the FOB should change,” Chaugule said.