Residents of Jay Bhim Nagar in Powai brave death to use a toilet

Residents of Jay Bhim Nagar in Powai brave death to use a toilet

Mumbai,Sept18:Over 4,000 residents of Jay Bhim Nagar in Powai are braving death to use a toilet. Every day they have to cross a dilapidated and narrow foot over bridge (FOB) simply to use the toilets across it. What makes the situation worse is that they also have to use the FOB to move out of their slum into the city.

In three years, Jay Bhim Nagar’s only connecting link to the city towards Aarey Road – the FOB -over the Mithi River, has turned dangerous. The FOB was constructed over 10 years back to give proper access to residents of Jay Bhim Nagar as well as Gautam Nagar, to the nearest service road.

No work despite contract
A resident and local activist, Pawan Pal, said three years back the civic body had awarded a contract to reconstruct the FOB but nothing happened. According to documents accessed by Pal, on December 31, 2014, a contract was awarded to Dev Engineers to reconstruct two FOBs over the Mithi River in Morarji Nagar and Jay Bhim Nagar at the cost of R1.38 crore (for both FOBs). The work was supposed to finish in one year. The civic body finished reconstructing the Morarji Nagar FOB but the one at Jay Bhim Nagar continues to be dilapidated.

Pal said, “The FOB is in an extremely dilapidated condition. During heavy rains water flows over the bridge making it very difficult for pedestrians to use it. Hundreds of people including children risk their life everyday when using the FOB. When I followed up with the matter I got to know that Bridge Department officials have written a letter to the local ward informing it about the dangerous condition of the FOB and suggested it be closed.”

He added, “The internal communication between the Bridge Department and S ward (Bhandup) has revealed that the reconstruction of the FOB is pending due to non availability of space since there is encroachment (it will be widened). The encroachment happened because civic body delayed the repair work.”