Locals flag safety concerns on skywalk nearly two km from CM Shinde’s residence

Published on Aug 16, 2022 12:38 AM IST

Four days after a college student was allegedly molested on a skywalk at Manpada, local residents have raised safety concerns over another skywalk in the heart of the city which they claim is taken over by miscreants at night as there are no adequate lights and CCTV cameras

The skywalk near Viviana Mall in Thane Praful Gangurde/HT Photo
The skywalk near Viviana Mall in Thane Praful Gangurde/HT Photo
By, Thane

Four days after a college student was allegedly molested on a skywalk at Manpada, local residents have raised safety concerns over another skywalk in the heart of the city which they claim is taken over by miscreants at night as there are no adequate lights and CCTV cameras. Interestingly, this skywalk near Viviana Mall is barely a few metres from former minister Jitendra Awhad’s home and around two km from chief minister Eknath Shinde’s residence.

Surabhi Vartak, 24, a resident said, “I commute by bus between Thane and Mumbai often and use the skywalk to cross the road. At night there are no lights while liquor bottles are seen strewn around. Many a time there are miscreants who pass lewd comments. I have never seen any policeman or a security guard.”

Meanwhile, the Yuva Sena on Monday staged a protest demanding police security on the skywalk and also threatened to close it if any untoward incident occurred.

“There have been complaints of eve-teasing at night. We have demanded police patrolling, proper lighting arrangements, CCTV cameras for which we are ready to provide funds, and round-the-clock security guards,” Purvesh Sarnaik, Yuva Sena secretary, said.

He also said that the Sena is developing a helpline number for women while a security mobile application will also be developed to send a notification to police in case of an emergency.

S A Ghatekar, senior police inspector of Rabodi police station, said, “We along with Vartak Nagar police station will deploy an officer on the skywalk round the clock. We will talk to Thane Municipal Corporation officials about CCTV cameras and lights.”

When contacted, additional municipal commissioner Sandeep Malvi said they have not received any request, but they will do the needful. “If there is a demand for lights or cameras on the skywalk we will install them, as per the requirement of the police department.”

The skywalk is on the Eastern Express Highway and used by mall shoppers and commuters from Vartak Nagar, Pokharan Road, Majiwada and Rabodi.

On Monday, the Chitalsar police arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly molesting a college girl on the skywalk near R-Mall on August 11. The accused, Dinesh Gaud, touched the girl inappropriately from behind when the girl bit him. Scared, he fled the spot. However, he forgot his colourful umbrella and came back to retrieve it within minutes. The girl who had not seen his face described his umbrella and an equally bright reddish pink shirt to the police. With the help of informers and CCTV footage, the police traced the molester.

(With inputs from NB Gupta)

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    I am a special correspondent with Hindustan Times and also the chief of bureau for Thane. I have worked in Thane for over a decade, covering social, civic, infrastructural, political and cultural issues.

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