Af­ter 20 years, Kalyan starts work to build bet­ter roads

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Sa­jana Nam­biar sa­jana.nam­biar@hin­dus­tan­times.com Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab. bhuyan@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

Shivaji Chowk mar­ket does not look what it did two months ago.

The area which was teem­ing with hawk­ers and shop­pers, ran­domly parked ve­hi­cles and crawl­ing traf­fic has been trans­formed.

Work is on to widen the roads and free up space for mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans. As the stretch is dug up, the nar­row road al­lows only two-wheel­ers.

For the first time in 20 years, a com­mis­sioner has man­aged to carry out de­mo­li­tion drive for road- widen­ing work and re­move hawk­ers from ma­jor ar­eas, decongesting the city.

When E Ravendi­ran took ove r a s K a l ya n - D o m b i v l i Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (KDMC) com­mis­sioner seven months ago, top on his agenda was to make the two cities hawker-free and start the road-widen­ing pro­ject.

In two months, the KDMC has de­mol­ished 500 struc­tures, paving way f or one of t he big­gest projects in the city.

When the af­fected shop­keep­ers protested, the pro­ject al­most got stalled.

Re­al­is­ing the ben­e­fits of the pro­ject, the cit­i­zens came out in sup­port of the KDMC com­mis­sioner. Ral­lies and cam­paigns in sup­port of the civic chief gave out the res­i­dents’ feed­back that they wanted bet­ter roads.

“We can­not let any hur­dle stop the pro­ject. We are look­ing for a change. Bad roads have been a night­mare for us. We want the pro­ject for the ben­e­fit of Kalyan-Dom­bivli res­i­dents,” said Mad­hav Ka­matkar, 72, a res­i­dent of Mur­bad Road, Kalyan (West).

Ravendi­ran, an IAS- cadre of Tamil Nadu, knows that it is a huge task and a chal­leng­ing one.

“I am work­ing for the city’s de­vel­op­ment. How­ever, I am also con­sid­er­ing all le­gal aspects while start­ing the pro­ject. De­mol­ish­ing old struc­tures is a big task it would be only pos­si­ble if there is sup­port from the peo­ple,” said Ravendi­ran.

He cl a r i f i e d t h at ch i e f min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis was con­cer ned about those af­fected in the de­mo­li­tion work. “He did not ask me to stop the de­mo­li­tion. He is con­cerned about those who are af­fected. He asked me to take them into con­fi­dence for the de­mo­li­tion drive,” said Ravendi­ran.

Two per­sons from Kopar Khairane who were in­volved in sev­eral bur­glar­ies that took place in the city in the past six months, have been ar­rested by the po­lice on Tues­day.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice, Ashok Dar­gade, 23, and Asish Ya­dav,

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