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With encroached footpaths, it’s nightmare of a walk in Chembur

As one walks out of station in the east side, the encroached footpaths baffles him

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With encroached footpaths, it’s nightmare of a walk in Chembur
In the eastern suburbs, Chembur is one of the most crowded railway stations on the Harbour line. The area houses several chemical and petroleum plants. Thousands use this station to reach these plants. Also, there are many hospitals near the station. In addition, some of the well-known residential colonies such as Shell Colony, Postal Colony, Chedda Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Sahakar Nagar et al are located in the area.
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Where's the footpath? You would perhaps ask yourself exiting from Chembur station on the east side. A better look would then give you a clear picture: Hawkers, and haphazardly parked vehicles have eaten up the pavements. Adding to your disappointment will be the congested roads which would not help you walk freely in the area.

Kanchan Waghmare, a resident of PA Lokhande Marg, walks to the 20th Road in Chembur (East) to see off her son to school. She says there are stretches where walking is difficult. "Some of the sewer covers on the footpath are open. Many commercial establishments keep their doors open and they extend till the footpath," she said.

In the eastern suburbs, Chembur is one of the most crowded railway stations on the Harbour line. The area houses several chemical and petroleum plants. Thousands use this station to reach these plants. Also, there are many hospitals near the station. In addition, some of the well-known residential colonies such as Shell Colony, Postal Colony, Chedda Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Sahakar Nagar et al are located in the area.

When this correspondent walked along NM Acharya Road parallel to the railway line, it was found to be congested. Illegal hawkers occupied the footpath and unruly autorickshaw drivers didn't leave much space for pedestrians. Just after walking around 200 metres, in the left is Mahirshi Dayananda Saraswati Marg. This stretch goes up to DK Sandu street. It is big challenge to find a footpath between these two roads. "As per the civic Act, hawkers cannot sit up to 150 metre of a railway station; but it seems that this Act does not apply in Chembur," said Prashant Patil, a pedestrian.

From eateries to furniture shops, all kinds of establishments occupy almost 80 per cent of the footpath, and at some points, they hog the whole of it.

It's not only the hawkers who have encroached on the footpaths, there are residents, commercial complexes and even social organisations that have made them their 'own property'. Along the 20th road, the gate of a commercial complex occupies half of the footpath, while illegal parked vehicles outside the Mahila Samaj hall leave no space for pedestrians.

Prithviraj Chavan, assistant commissioner of M West ward, said: "If there is a complaint, we will take action. However, we are waiting for the finalisation of pitches as this will give clarity on illegal hawkers. Once the pitches are finalised, we will take strict action against illegal hawkers."

ENCROACHED

From eateries to furniture shops, all kinds of establishments occupy almost 80 per cent of the footpath, and at some points, they hog the whole of it.

CAN YOU SEE THE FOOTPATH?

Hawkers, residential & commercial complexes have made IT their ‘property’

800metre Length of walk

30 minutes Walking time

Footpath is encroached. Roads are congested due to haphazardly parked vehicles and constant flow of traffic

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