While the authorities claim that the Metro railway will be a boon to the city, Andheri (East) residents are not so sure.
The staircases and escalators of the Metro station on the Andheri–Chakala Road have encroached on the footpaths, thus forcing pedestrians to walk on the roads dodging the heavy traffic. “With hardly any space on footpaths, we are forced to walk on the road and risk our lives. We will approach the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) officials to come up with a solution,” said civic activist Rajesh Pandya.
James John, member of AGNI and an activist from the area, said: “There are spots where the Metro station is right outside a housing society’s compound. I have stated the problems in my letter to the chief minister,” said James.
James said the issue was not only restricted to walkways but the work has resulted in broken drains, damaged drinking water pipelines and craters on the roads. “It clearly shows lack of application of mind when planning such a big project. When we approach authorities they pass the buck by blaming other agencies,” he added.
Residents raised other concerns such as the criss-crossing traffic alignment near Holy Family Church, no signals on junctions, and frequent damage to water pipelines and sewerage lines caused by the Metro work.
The water pipeline near Mehta Industrial Centre has been damaged for several months now. While a team from the civic water department do carry out minor repairs, there is no permanent solution to the damaged pipeline. “Every day, when the supply hour begins at at 8pm, water flows out on the road, flooding it. Though we have made several complaints, no no one has taken any action,” said Pandya.
Mumbai Metro One Project Limited spokesperson said: “The designs and planning were done by the MMRDA, we are only the executing agency. Executing designs in the limited space was a huge task. We had no option but to bring the landing stairs from the station on the footpath.”