Mahim mosque steps up to unclog roads
For the past three weeks, the imam of Mahim mosque has been urging devotees visiting the cemetery adjoining it for Friday namaz to avoid coming on bikes and scooters. The Mahim cemetery authorities along with the police made this appeal to those living nearby as residents of the area have been hassled by the haphazard bike-parking by devotees for years now.
Ten volunteers, including police officers, activists and members of the cemetery, have been managing the traffic in and around the cemetery for the past three Fridays. Mahim resident Farooque Dhala said the situation is slightly better now. “The lane leading to the cemetery is narrow, and with thousands of people visiting on Friday, residents find it difficult to walk or even get vehicles out,” said Dhala, who also helps with the traffic management.
Suhail Khandwani, managing trustee of the cemetery, said there is usually a footfall of around 5,000 people on Fridays, with around 400 to 500 bikes being parked in the area. “According to the principles of Islam, we cannot cause inconvenience to our neighbours. We have been working on managing the traffic in the area for quite some time now. We started issuing stickers to those living around Mahim dargah. We cannot replicate the same here as most bikes belong to visitors.”
Adinath Satpute, assistant commissioner of police (Mahim division), said they have instructed devotees coming in late to park bikes in the nearby lane. Those parking bikes close to the cemetery have been asked to park their bikes in a single file. “I have witnessed the chaos myself. It is a cramped lane with hawkers, fish market and irregular parking” said Satpute.