Majority of the flyovers in Mumbai have transformed into a junkyard, a survey conducted by non-government organisation (NGO) Watchdog Foundation has revealed. The survey was conducted over a period of three days having travelled by road from suburban Mira Road to Churchgate. The NGO observed many cars and two-wheelers parked beneath the flyovers. “Some spaces even had paver blocks dumped and piled up right underneath the Bandra East flyover. Any civic body or development authority governing the roads should immediately address the issue,” said Godfrey Pimenta, co-trustee, Watchdog Foundation.
The NGO further claims there has been illegal pay-and-park racket below several flyovers in the city. “In order to curb such things in Mumbai, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had decided to construct walls blocking entry for vehicles, but nothing has been done until now,” said Nicholas Almeida, another co-trustee of the NGO, adding, “The Bombay High Court had also directed the state government to tackle the problem of parking under flyovers.”
The state home department had, in 2008, stipulated that parking below flyovers was not only illegal but could also be a security threat, following which parking was banned under all 27 flyovers in the city. The NGO seeks prompt action on the issue and claims it is a security threat to the city. “The city boasts on spick and span flyovers on one end of the city (south Mumbai), while on the other end (suburban Mumbai), the situation is entirely opposite. Barring some– namely the airport area and Matunga flyover, almost every flyover is a dumping ground,” Pimenta said.
The MSRDC officials were not available for a comment. Meanwhile, a senior BMC official said, “The complaint has been taken into consideration and necessary action will be taken accordingly.”