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BMC clears encroachments at Andheri railway station, makes way for separate autorickshaw lane

According to K/W (Andheri West) ward officials, about 60 unauthorised stalls and extensions were demolished on Masjid lane

mumbai Updated: Oct 12, 2017 10:19 IST
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Hindustan Times
Andheri railway station,unLCOG mUMBAI,HAWKER
An autorickshaw drives though Masjid galli at Andheri on Wednesday.(Shashi S Kashyap)

After seven years, autorickshaws can finally go through a lane that connects Andheri railway station to JP Road as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cleared the encroachments there on Tuesday .

According to K/W (Andheri west) ward officials, about 60 unauthorised stalls and extensions were demolished on Masjid lane, commonly known as chappal galli owing to the huge number of hawkers selling footwear.

“For 7-8 years, the 12.3m wide road was used only by hawkers and pedestrians. The permanent structure of DN Nagar police chowky has been replaced with a temporary chowky,” said an official.

Assistant municipal commissioner Prashant Gaikwad told HT, “Now, this lane will be a dedicated lane for auto-rickshaws going toward the station. We will improve the condition of the road too.” One-way movement of auto-rickshaws was started on Tuesday evening, confirmed a senior traffic official.

Earlier, commuters had to take a longer route to reach Andheri station from JP Road. Residents have welcomed the move, pointing out that hawkers and autorickshaws are the major causes for congestion on SV road.

Rupa Divatia said, “It is good for rickshaw passengers too as the fare would reduce thanks to the shorter route. Now, the BMC should focus on freeing the sidewalks on SV road.” Activist Hansel D’souza, however, said the measure is only a temporary remedy.

“Until all hawkers are given a separate space, this won’t solve the problem permanently. JP Road is almost unusable as the elevated metro has already eaten into the road space,” said D’souza.

Assistant engineer (maintenance) Umesh Bodkhe, who has been working on the improvement of the arterial SV road, said, “There will be a wider road, better storm water drains, safer sidewalks and easier traffic flow by March 2018. We will continue taking regular action against encroachment.”

First Published: Oct 12, 2017 10:19 IST