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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

COUNTDOWN TO MONSOON 2013 Open trenches, manholes worry Bandra

Monsoon Is Round The Corner, But Work On A Few Roads Is Far From Over; Residents Refuse To Leave Rickety Bldgs

Mumbai: For the last five months, Bandra Bandstand residents have been spending sleepless nights over the open trenches dug up for asphalting a 350-m stretch of road. 
    And, with monsoon nearing, their anxiety levels are rising. The Brihanmumbai Mu
nicipal Corporation's (BMC) asphalting work on a stretch on H K Bhabha Road between Basera building and actor Shah Rukh Khan's Mannat has come to a halt for the last four days. 
    Residents fear that the trench opposite Sarita A and Ritu bungalow in Bandstand and open manholes near West Wind 
building ahead could be potential death traps, especially when the area gets flooded during heavy rains. 
    "For the last four months, we have been parking our cars on the opposite side of the road. While robbers have targeted a few cars, BEST buses have damaged two of them. The open manholes are a bigger danger, especially when it will pour. The BMC has only completed work on half the road; it is a real nightmare. The civic body has told us that the road will now be fixed after monsoon," said Aroop Roy, a resident of West Wind building. 
    But an official from the civic roads department, who is monitoring the asphalting work at Bandstand, said they plan to complete the entire work by Thursday. "The asphalting work on H K Bhabha Road was 
taken up in December. It's just a 350-m stretch and we plan to complete the entire road by June 6," said the official. 
    But the residents are not 
convinced. Sheila Kanungo, another resident, said they are dreading the monsoon as water from the trenches will flood their buildings. 
    "There are open manholes and a maze of pipes lying open. It is unfair to only blame the contractor, as there is no coordination between the various utilities, which delays completion of work," said Arup Sarbhadhikary, trustee, Bandra Bandstand Residents' Association. 
Times View: Make citizens feel safer T he contractor and local BMC officials should be a lot more sensitive to these issues, particularly with the monsoon not very far from hitting Mumbai. Leaving a job half-done and open trenches and manholes so close to the season of heavy rains and waterlogging speaks volumes of the BMC's approach to the citizen's problems.

DISASTER IN WAITING: An open trench on H K Bhabha Road in Bandra Bandstand. The BMC has stopped the asphalting work four days ago


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