Mumbai: Pavements encroached upon yet again in Marine Lines, Charni Road

01:20 AM Aug 05, 2021 | Pratip Acharya

Despite being relocated by the BMC, encroachers have made a comeback on the pavements between Marine Lines and Charni Road stations on Maharshi Karve Road, after they were relocated earlier by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Following the collapse of the Himalaya foot overbridge in 2019, the BMC had ordered a structural audit of all bridges in the city and suburbs. Based on the reports, the BMC demolished the foot overbridge at Marine Lines in 2019 and had also closed the bridge at Charni Road station.


The local authorities had also evicted encroachers living on the footpaths between Marine Lines and Charni Road station, citing risk to life. According to BMC officials, the anti-encroachment squad was also deployed to keep a tab on encroahcers.


However, recently it was observed that the encroachers are back and have set up shanties below the road overbridge, outside Marine Lines station, which is close to a police chowkie. According to local elected public representatives, the encroachers have started coming back to the spot since the lockdown.

“Ever since the pandemic broke out, many encroachers have made a comeback, stating that they have nowhere else to go,” said Rita Makwana, local BJP corporator.

“The BMC tried to evict them several times, but they were reluctant. Even if they are driven away, they come back again at the spot,” Makwana said.

“The responsibility of taking action against encroachers is with the BMC. We provide them protection whenever they ask for it,” said Bhushan Belnekar, senior inspector of Azad Maidan police station.

Meanwhile, BMC officials said that they will take action against the illegal encroachers.

“As part of a drive, we have evicted many encroachers living below the foot overbridges and flyovers before the onset of the monsoon,” said a senior BMC official.

“After we evict them from one place, they set up base in a different ward. They again return to the same place sometime later,” the official added. The official also maintained that many of the encroachers demand rehabilitation from the BMC.

“Rehabilitation is only provided to project-affected people or those who have lost their shelter during a calamity,” the official added.

Rahul Narwekar, BJP MLA from Colaba, said that he has been following up on the issue since the last few months.

“I have made complaints regarding illegal encroachments to the local ward officer and I was told that they can't evict anyone during monsoon as per the orders of the High Court. I will follow up on the issue again and ask the local ward office to take necessary action,” Narwekar told FPJ.

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