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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Clean-up drive of Parsik tunnel area a washout; residents blame Thane civic body

mumbai Updated: Oct 18, 2019 23:29 IST
Priyanka Dhomse
Priyanka Dhomse

A year after Parsik tunnel area was cleaned and beautified, it is back to Square One. Areas which had been cleaned now has garbage strewn all over and the accumulated debris has fallen on railway track, making travel unsafe.

Thane railway passengers’ association has decided to meet Thane municipal commissioner over the issue. With the encroachments around Parsik tunnel incidents of mobile thefts and stone pelting have increased.

A year ago, Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) carried out beautification of the hillock at Parsik tunnel, which is more than 100 years old.

Thane railway passengers’ association has decided to meet various agencies to check encroachments. “Starting from Bhaskar Nagar, Kalwa, to the hillock at Parsik tunnel, the entire area was beautified by TMC in the past one year,” said Nandkumar Deshmukh, president of railway passengers’ association, Thane.

The area has a population of around 20,000.

Residents, who have built houses illegally on the hill, claimed that though TMC beautified the area, it did not maintain it.

There is no regular cleaning of garbage. Four-wheelers, autorickhaws and handcarts continue to be parked on the edge of the slope on Parsik hill, situated above the tunnel. The civic body has not done anything to remove them, residents said.

“The increasing encroachments on top of Parsik tunnel has also weakened the old tunnel and should not be allowed,” added Deshmukh.

Bhaskar Nagar and Waghoba Nagar are on top of the tunnel.

“The stretch between Kalwa and Mumbra often sees mobile snatching and stone-pelting on trains passing by. We have requested Thane Government Railway Police, TMC and forest officials to coordinate and take stringent action,” said Deshmukh.

Residents said debris continues to pile up as TMC has not taken steps to maintain them. “There are no dustbins at public places. So, residents end up throwing waste on the slope,” said Ramesh Singh, 28, a resident of Parsik area, Mumbra.

Civic officials claimed that they regularly clean the area and collect garbage.

“Last year, TMC spent around ₹25 lakh for beautification by planting around 8,000 to 10,000 saplings. The area generates 5 tonnes of waste daily,” said Ashok Burpulle, deputy municipal commissioner, TMC.

The encroachments on Parsik hill have been increasing in the past 10 to 12 years. Municipal officials have not taken any action against illegal encroachments.

“Every day, whenever the train passes through the tunnel, we have to cover our noses as a foul smell emanates from Parsik hill. Encroachments have also led to crimes on commuters. Anti-socials target train commuters,” said Gaurangi Chavan, 30, a resident of Dombivli.

The railway police have been saying they would carry out a survey of dark spots between Kalwa and Mumbra.

“The survey has started from Thane to Parsik tunnel on the fast line and from Thane to Mumbra station on the slow line. The report will be submitted to Central Railway. We will propose installing CCTV cameras, lights and watch towers on the Thane-Mumbra route to curb crimes,” said Rajesh Pandav, senior police inspector, Thane Railway Protection Force.