The ALMs of A-ward had a joint meeting with Makarand Narwekar, Municipal Councillor for A-ward. The meeting was conducted to discuss pertinent issues faced in the locality and to come up with solutions for the same. It was the first-ever meeting that revolved around two major issues—parking and traffic.
South Mumbai continues to face issues related to lack of parking. It's been more than 10 years since the last public parking area was added to the locality. People who are affected the most by parking issues belong to buildings, which do not have compounds, and hence, have no private space for parking vehicles. This forces the residents to park their vehicles on the road. Private taxis and private buses have also consumed most of the parking space.
Narwekar says, "We have three main agendas—public parking, traffic congestion and the Colaba market. Earlier, people used to work in a fragmented manner but now, we have all come together as one powerful force. Narrow lanes and lack of open spaces has led to parking issues, hence, we feel that open areas such as the helipad, few areas of Cuffe Parade and the Colaba market must be converted into parking spaces. The development plan is very disappointing so our aim is to change as per the needs of the people."
Cynthia D'mello, Trustee, My Dream Colaba, says, "It's a positive beginning; with such meetings and inputs provided by contractors and municipal authorities, we can bring about desirable changes. I see a new hope for my locality."
Another issue is that of traffic congestion. The locality requires smart signals that include timers, CCTV cameras, especially the one at Shaheed Bhagat Singh road. A policeman is required at every major signal during peak hours; there have been complaints that policemen make groups in a few areas, which is not required. However, construction of more traffic chowkis seemed to have received mixed reviews. Another problem that was part of the discussion was signboards. There are about 1,370 signboards in A-ward, but there seem to be no records for them and nor are they maintained properly.
Priya Ubale, member, My Dream Colaba, says, "It's a great initiative. Mr.Shaikh was proactive and we expect something good to come out of this."
The meeting was also attended by Abdul Rauf Shaikh, Senior Inspector, OCH Chowki, who emphasised the government's efforts such as appointing people to conduct regular check-ups of the traffic issues. He has put up his views regarding the issues and has promised to come up with effective solutions as soon as possible.